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General questions about upgrading to 1.7


I'm not a contributor to this list (yet), but a fan reader, and
I wanted to show my appreciation and gratitude for bringing 

I have been reading (not thoroughly enough yet)
FAQ/features/changes/user guide for the next 1.7 release, and I have
some questions:

I'm plannig to migrate my production env (i.e. my XPSP3 box at work
8-D), from 1.5.25 to 1.7 as soon as there is an official release,
and I dont want to ruin 1.5 if things work unexpectedly, so...
Q1-Not having gone through beta-testing process, am I supposed to 
install 1.7 over existing 1.5?
Q2-If so, what will happen to my custom env files (.bashrc, for
example)? will they be left untouched?
Q3-Possibly a fool question, but anyways, are those apps I built under
/usr/local/stow still gonna work?

If any/all of the question do already have an answer, please point me
to it, and sorry for the noise.



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