1. Ease of update: since the operating system is linux, the learning curve if you are initiated to this OS is pretty steep. but once you get the hang of linux, it's kinda easy.
2. you may always opt to join the free servers of course, provided that you have something to share in return. if not, then some groups do accept payments. for listings, see the spider network thread on this forum.
3. depends on the card server group you are connected. common package will be that from hotbird and nilesat. others will carry orbit from arabsat. so many english channels to be availed on astra but it is way out of footprint from pakistan. also look for asian card server groups that might be available for you.
lastly, since you are willing to shell out the bucks, then by all means go for 7025. also have a look at the triple dragon. the same capabilities as dreambox. but the main programmer for dreambox before, Dr. Overflow, is now on triple dragon team. dreambox had a headstart but triple dragon will overtake it after some time.