Why not use the database wizard or template to create an application and then modify it?
This is, in theory, what the templates are supposed to do. My personal experience watching many users try this indicates that this entails more work than just making an application from scratch, using object wizards when called for.
How can I arrange the look of a form made with a wizard?
You'll need to switch to design view for that form and move the fields around. It's a simple task once you've seen how it's done (as are all tasks). The upcoming lesson, Day 10, "Improving Your Forms," on forms will get you up to speed in a few hours.
Why doesn't the Query Wizard enable you to enter query criteria as part of the wizard's process?
This sure seems like a mystery to me. I've never asked Microsoft people about this simply because switching to design view in the query and then adding criteria is so simple it's never seemed very important enough to me. People seem to have problems with the summary queries more than the selection ones and the wizard does handle them all right.
What were the #'s signs you put around the date criterion in the query example you used?
Enclosing dates with those signs tells Access that the enclosed expression is a date, not a text string. Access supplies the # signs by default.