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questions about psfonts.beta

Dear tex-fonts expert,
I have some questions about the psfonts.beta release:
  1) I don't have the expert set for the Lucida Bright fonts. Can I fake
a small caps font with afm2tfm's -V option (and a suitable encoding)
for the 7t,8t,8r-world or do I have to learn fontinst? Is there a
ready-made input file for fontinst for generating hlhrc??
(So far I worked always only with Tom Rokicki's afm2tfm or with Y&Y's
reencode and afmtotfm.)
  2) Some of my fonts are older than the ones in psfonts.beta, e.g.
my AGaramond-Regular has Creation Date Jul 12 1989 in the afm- and the
pfb-file, the supplied afm-file has Jan 16 1992. Can I use my old
pfb-file or should I build new *.tfm and *.vf for the old *.afm?
  3) The readme in psfonts.beta says
>kerning (no ``raw'' fonts); therefore, even the *8r base fonts can be
>used for real typesetting.
but some discussion in this list indicates that they shouldn't be used.
I made some tests with ptmr8r and hlhr8r (*not* using 8r.sty) and gave up
quickly when I noticed that --- doesn't produce emdash. Is this a bug
or a feature? (I would very much appreciate supported tfm's with
extra Postscript characters and complete kerning information; in the
past I used my own encoding which I changed at least once a year.
I hope that 8r can get me out of the morass.)

Thanks in advance for your help.

Peter Harmand