just got a Core 550 here's what I understand. all of these questions can be answered in the orientation I think.
1. Life time of the new duravats, something like 6,000 (maybe 60,000?) print hours or a year, they require a bit of regular care, (clearing the window of resin and allowing it to oxygenate, treat the window like a precious thing, only touch it with approved instruments and agents of cleaning. the rest can be cleaned with paper towel.) the inside of the machine shouldn't get dirty ever if you do things right.
2. No, it seems to be there are settings for the individual resins and that's all you choose from, but you shouldn't need to tweak it.
3. No. neither Cherry or Red seem to be supported for the Core models according to the site at B9Homepage>Products>Materials.
4. The light projection system is different. and since there are fewer moving parts (no adjustable XY rez, not side to side movement on the vat) there is less to go out of alignment. it should not require user calibration and I believe the warranty covers recalibration if for some reason prints start to fail.
5. We set ours up in less than an hour, (already had softwares installed on computers) and had the test print done in 42 or 49 minutes in emerald. It came out excellent and we've pulled 9 prints so far that were perfect and very fast we've used both Wifi file transfer and USB insertion both are easy and intuitive.
Hope that answers your questions well enough
Aaron of RMW