Re: Sidebar Excerpt
You could always use the excerpt as I first suggested and enter your own code. I'm sure it allows basic html so you would have full control over what's shown and you could format it easier. The only time I'd use "teaser text" that's automatically pulled from the post is if I had multiple authors who didn't know how to write an "ad" for an article, but if I'm doing it myself I'd much prefer to write a compelling intro myself using the excerpt. It depends on what you want to achieve I suppose...
Some of the websites I've built with StudioPress:
<a href="http://www.horseracing.fm">Horse Racing</a> | <a href="http://wedding-blog.net">Wedding Blog</a> | <a href="http://www.weddingtrix.com">Wedding Planning Guide</a> | <a href="http://advance.to">Search Engine Marketing</a> | <a href="http://www.automateyourprofits.com">Betting Software</a> | <a href="http://www.bettingbots.com">Betting Bots</a> | <a href="http://www.pokerclubscotland.com">Poker Club Scotland</a>