Your comments

Thanks for the report, these issues are important to me. I actually noticed this myself for the first time just this weekend; it'll be fixed in the next version.
I think the current order is correct, insofar as it mirrors what's happening in the code: a new buffer gets created, and then added, which deactivates the old view, and activates the new one.

If there was a way to open a file in the background (i.e., open in a new tab, but don't activate), then it'd make sense to have the current ordering: a file is first created, and then activated at some point in the future.
If you could change the panel layout to vertical double pane, exit, and then email me your ~/.Sublime Text 2/Settings/Session.sublime_session file (or at least the "layout" section of it), that'd be great.

I've had a report from another user that they are able to drag from the edge of the side bar to get the first pane visible, as if it was created with the first pane taking 0% of the width and the second taking 100% (instead of 50/50 like it should be). Does this work for you?
This is something I'd like to add, but as a work around you can do a find all, and then the status bar will tell you how many selection regions there are
There is now a Clone File command in build 2036
Can you please try this dev build (2037): and let me know how you go. There was a change to the linux font rendering between 2027 and 2032 which I've revered for this version.