Ill leave it up to others more qualified to answer your questions, but why not try a local roaster and get to know them and sample the different styles they have. We have some excellent ones to choose from depending on where you are.
Not bagging US coffee, they have some great roasters as well. And I married an American so I get to try the coffees on my annual trips over there.
I also heard that roasted coffee beans can be negatively affected by being carried in the cargo hold of a plane but not sure about that.