My last instructions should work, although you have to select clock work mod. (For twrp later on, doesn't apply to cwm) just wait for about half a minute when you enter recovery before going anything. Sometimes the recovery just crashes, so if you wait it out then you'll be on the safer side.
To backup your data: in upgrades of the same rom. Backup with titanium or others, and flash+ wipe cache. If it hangs on splash screen go back to recovery and wipe data+ cache, and restore using your application.
For different roms backup using the app and wipe data and cache after flashing and restore later.
As for the build: go for the latest of whichever rom you choose. FYI, Bluetooth headset audio doesn't work for 4.2 and above
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