You can run 500 roms. I do it all the time for testing.
What you will not have;
internal 3g (this covers all functions that use it)
The 501 kernel is different than the 500's. Mainly because the 501 uses a "nuetered" radio for 3g and gps. The code for these are only available in the 501 kernel. And Acer has so far, never released kernel source for the 501. Probably due to the special ATT and Rogers versions they sold.
I've had success getting it to run on a "certain" 500 HC rom, but with no GPS.
2. No. The current GPL kernel for ICS, is for a500 only. It does not have the necessary code to make it work on the 501. This includes Thor's kernel. And his Device tree is different from the ICS "leaked" roms. His, is ASOP, so it WILL NOT work with the current ICS release.
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