The thread's moving quickly so I'm just going to use your points to organize my comments.
P1: I understand that it's no fun for 4 people to be done in a total of 2 minutes and number 5 to take 10 minutes. If pets are the slowdown, fix them. You might consider requiring the guy with all of the NPC's to have all of his stats and attacks on a 3x5 card ready to go when play starts. If there are several identical NPC's require that they all take the same actions as if they were a group of followers (from the followers feat). If he's still too slow you can do things like use average damage for NPC attacks and treat them like the trick from Knife Mastery ie Roll 1 d20 for all attacks. If you hit, roll damage for attack #1. for every 4 you hit by, one more attack hits.
Be aware that at higher levels, the guy who is a swing and a miss now will have a lot more options. It's not hard to get 3 attacks, a couple free social combat actions, and a nonattack action. At 7th level a flail wielding soldier can potentially make 9 attacks in a single round.
A knife wielding soldier is going to top out around 7 attacks but each one can potentially generate 3 separate hits (and thus damage rolls). And each of those hits can generate a damage save, a stress save, and possibly a poison save. In addition, Mr Knife has a free action feint and if he's high enough level for 4 more feats, up to 8 free action Taunts, and a non-attack action. For added hilarity, by the early teens he can get Cleave Mastery, with potentially unlimited Blade Flurries
Admittedly, that's a purposefully extreme example with plenty of conditional attacks thrown in. The point is that things will tend to equalize somewhat as you level. FC never gets as slow as 3rd edition and I'm told it's faster than 4e, which I've read but never played. So do what you need to if it keeps things moving but you're probably currently at the most extreme difference in player times and it might even get better on its own.
As far as the action types and how often you can do them, the basic rule is pretty simple. Each action has a size (Full round, full action, standard action, free action). If you have an action of the required type or larger, you can perform the action. You can perform as many free actions as the GC allows. You can only perform actions during your turn. As long as you have all of the required resources, you can perform any action any number of times.
There are some actions that have limited uses, per turn or per scene, or may be used outside of your turn. These are clearly marked in their descriptions.
action types in 4e (standard, move, minor, immediate interrupt, immediate reaction, opportunity, free)
In FC terms, a standard and a move are both standard actions, free is free, and a minor is a free with a once per round restriction. I think the immediates are minors with conditions attached and both as well as the opportunity (standard) are usable outside your turn. I believe the Parry trick would be an immediate interrupt and the Feather Fall spell an immediate reaction as well as a minor.
making "handle item" a swift/minor action makes sense, especially if you can then trade and half action for a swift/minor.
Knife basics and Quick draw become less attractive feats while fire arms become quicker to load and thus fire. Probably not game breaking but it will change things. in normal FC you can throw one ax per round, 2 with quick draw. With minors you can throw 3 every 2 rounds but still only 2 with quick draw.
I think labeling actions is good if it helps you but you've got your work cut out for you if you're going to force fit 4E's actions to Fantasy craft.
Part 3: I don't see how this could make a spell impossible to save against? Currently, you have an NPC cast "ouchpewpew" at a character; the DC against his saving throw is 15. The player makes a Saving throw, with their +6 reflex save. They must roll a d20 and get a 9 or higher. Altered, the NPC makes an attack at +6 (dc -9) against a reflex defense of 15 (9+save bonus); they must roll a 9 or higher to hit.
When you say dc+9 and 9+save bonus are the "9's" intended to be constant with every saving throw? I think you don't intend that. I think you got the 9 by subtracting the save bonus from the DC, correct? In that case, you've done a null operation. The NPC will always make an attack at the PC's save bonus against a Defense of their DC. You've just relabeled the save and changed who rolls it. Not that there's anything wrong with that if that's what you want.
If the 9 is constant, consider this. I have a save bonus of +15 versus a DC of 21. I need to roll a 6 or higher. Under your system with constants my defense is 24 and the attack is +12. They need to roll a 12.
The hard part of this comes with items like "you are discombobulated, make a fort save every round to see if your head clears". I think I might have a way of handling that, but I'm working on it at the moment - it'll likely be just a "roll d20, higher than 10 means you cleared it off" with some ad hoc modifiers, but it might instead be an ability check with a low DC.
Regarding the clearing roll, I really think it's not a good fit for the condition system. If you like it, ok, but you're basically nerfing everything except pure (lethal) damage.
P4: In Chapter 7, there are campaign qualities that are essentially premade houserules. Fragile Heroes is the one you want. It cuts the vitality gained in half. Try that before you up weapon damage. Remember this is a VP/wounds system. With an 19-20 crit range, you're on average 5ish rounds from a critical. You usually don't end up slogging through vitality except for a few oddball creatures. If you do scale damage, you can control lethality by not activating crits as often or going for injuries (2 action dice) instead of wounds. You can even flip the costs if you like that option.
p6: This is very close to a complex task of the progress type with both players and GM using narrative control. Take a look at those two subsystems for ideas. Yours looks like it might be an interesting minigame.
Apologies for the length.