I'm in agreement with you!
1. The 'before' in "I have never done it before" is unnecessary because the present perfect contains that implication....I only included it as it was in pikipiki's original sentence. It becomes more relevant in a sentence such as "I've never tried this before," as you are about to eat your first mouthful of fricasseed toad!
2. Yes, UK English does not use the simple past in this way....although it's doubtless seeping into it via US films etc.
3. Ditto 1.