We aren't doing any limitations for conservation purposes. Let me discuss each of your questions. Hopefully I understand them correctly. If I misunderstood anything example queries (via URL) would help me to see the issue, too.
1) Which event type did you use? I'd suggest switching event type to be "Any event". Newspapers don't necessarily reflect a residency location so using "lived in" for searching newspapers is less effective than "any event".
2) Was this database a Muster Roll database? I've seen some Civil War databases where old search indexed muster location as a residency place. New search is more specific, it does not consider a muster location as a residency place. If you use "Any event" or "Military" I bet you will find the results more readily.
3) I would like to bolster functionality of the Card Catalog. The new version added some useful features, but omitted some from the old version in the process. I can't promise a releae date, but can say that it is an area we want to address.
Hope the above clarifies what you are seeing.