Welcome to the board! Everyboady has given great tips.
I myself don't like the combo bowls too much (although they have their place & useage), just becasue it can quickly overheat and destroy a otherwise great session. They are good bowls with you are limited (no extra windcover) or slightly acident prone, they just take pratice to use correctly.
As to the Ql's, I have done both sides - why? If I am using 2 coals, I put one flat, 1 round - it helps with the heat management. Just becareful, the coal on the round side will rock - take care to not let it fall off the bowl.
Also, everybody here will list a "best brand" of tabacco - what I love you may have, and visa versa. Best thing I can say is to read thru the Review section and see what people say about what brands they like.