Some of the things you describe (and perhaps some of the other things you didn't mention :^) are possible with our cart customization code:
We would recommend copying ALL of the customization code there, and then delete only the lines specifically described as doing something you don't need (a comment line with explanation comes just before the line of code which actually does it).
BTW, we have no method to make the Close and Continue Shopping controls point to a different page than the one that spawned that cart screen, as those controls don't really point anywhere and only "hide" the cart on its current page. Furthermore, many buyers would be confused if those took them to a completely different page than the one they were on, especially if they wanted to Add to Cart another product on the same page, and any confusion or disorientation tends to hurt your sale conversion rate. Think of it in the real-world terms that average buyers understand: when you take an item off the shelf at the grocer and put it in your cart, you remain where you are and don't suddenly find yourself back at the front door.
PayPal usually offers buyers a checkout option to pay directly with a credit card instead of using a PayPal account, but they do not always offer that option, and there is no way to force PayPal to offer the direct card-payment option every time. It seems to have something to do with possibly-suspicious circumstances, so PayPal takes a "better safe than sorry" approach in those cases to protect you from any potential fraud.