Nexus 7 USB OTG, other questions

So I was pretty much set on buying a W8 tablet. But more and more I read, I am leaning to the option to hold of until second gen is out, when AMD temash and Atom Baytrail should be out (by the end of the year from what I've read) and first gen hickups are solved.

I really wanted a 11.6 windows tablet as I want it to replace my laptop. I'd also have a desktop for serious gaming/work, so that sort of a tablet would really be something in between a companion device and "full" PC for my use cases.

Another factor is that late jan/early feb I'm going to USA to work on a cruiser for 6-9 months. So being there makes itmpossible for me to buy a cheap tablet on craigslist for that period when I'm on board, and buy something better when I'm about to fly back to Croatia.

With all that taken into account, I'm pretty much set on buying a Nexus 7. I was considering an ipad mini because I really fell the extra inch would make a big difference in usability, but I just can't justify the price difference. I was also considering something like an ipad2 if i can get it (used but in good condition) for ~200$ (?).

For now, Nexus 7 seems most likely.

TO THE POINT

- does USB OTG work on a nexus? Can I load up my external HD with music, apps (prob not?), videos, photos, booms and such and easily transfer them to the nexus?

- can I somehow prepare the root in advance and do it offline (poor internet access on the ship)?

- Basically, what is the easiest way (one that does not require a PC would be preferable) to enable USB plug'n'play with external HD for transfering content?

- what website do you reccomend to find in advance the best games/apps to download?