Yes, Yes, & Yes.
You will have to adapt your thinking to a new type of programming though.
Uniden provides free software for using the computer to program it.
An outside antenna might get more than you really want, but you can do it.
While they will not trunk the 700 freqs, the Radio Shack Pro 96 and 2096 will monitor the 700 freqs in conventional mode if you use the Win96 software by Don Starr and select the extended frequency option. I am doing this and am having good luck as there is not much traffic on the system right now with the exception of the New Orleans towers. I have pulled out my credit card to order a 996 several times but have not. I subscribe to the BCD996T group at Yahoo and have noted that these units are extremely difficult ( that's actually a nice word to describe it) to program and operate. I am not a novice, having fooled with scanners and radios for 30 years. While the trunking feature will surely come in handy for LATIE later, the 399.00 current sale price for the Radio Shack units along with the ease of use(especially with Win96) make them a good alternative. Just my nickel's worth. Good luck.