Help with Blog Network Configuration

The goal here:

1) Use WordPress Mu as a CMS for hosting multiple unrelated full domain name sites (www.stmark.org, http://www.stluke.org, http://www.staug.org, etc). They could technically be subdomain sites i.e. stmark.dioceseX.org or directory sites http://www.dioceseX.org/stmarks WHATEVER WORKS — but we want users to be able to go to stmarks.org and have the traffic for viewers/users who are just members/commentors to be on that URL and URL shorteners/other plug-ins to point to the stmarks.org level vs. subdomain/directory of the higher level. Making it more complicated (i.e. URL different from www viewers of a discrete site) for Admin’s is OK as long as it works.

2) Unique admin/editorial users on each site, who can only access content on that full domain name site i.e. editor or contributor or admin set on a per-site, per-user basis. If we are able to have a global user/federated system based on Users Name and Email address that is fine/good.

3) We are interested in BuddyPress as well for some of the “subdomains” and that might also determine the setup/configuration for wither content users or commentors/members.

3) EVENTUALLY: We would like to create several “supersites” like DioceseXSermons.org that would take all the “sermon” tagged content from all subsites or “event” that would allow us to easily create a top level blog like DioceseXEvents.org that would contain the lists across all the hosted subsites as well as being able to suck in RSS feeds from others not on the platform and combine them together if they can generate a compatible RSS standard. So the ability to have some global content tags/types or standards so that we can then LATER (however it is easiest and uses the least resources on the web server) the better. But if it complicates doing #1 or #2 – table this entirely.

So what combinations of Mu install (Directory or Subblog) and plug-in and apache/db/php config would I need. My new hosting company is struggling to get the right combination of settings in place to make this work.

Plus once it is “configured” need to make sure we don’t have the cookie / login problems.

Lastly most of these sites will have an apostrophe in the title i.e. St. Mark’s Church, St. Augustine’s Church, etc. We need to address that issue of St. Augustine’s as well.