Yeah, that was part of my problem initially - I was afraid of where it would drop instead of just letting the clip drop and adjusting it. You can think of it as essentially making however many tracks you need on the fly. It means that if you go back to a section and, say, want to extend a clip for a crossfade you actually just pull the edge of the clip over first and THEN move it up a level. And actually, most of the time it'll move the clip for you, because it can pretty much figure out that you're trying to overlap them.
Speeding up and Slowing down a clip is a little awkward - first you have to hit that curving arrow next to the magic wand and give it an arbitrary x2/4/etc... one way or the other and then you can fine-tune the speed on the clip itself. I figure once I find a keyboard command to do this, I'll be gtg.
Apparently you can just cmd + R to change a clip's speed. lol!
I did manage to figure out how to get the dang transitions working, though! (For example, applying a page turn affect from one clip to another!) You have to select the clips together, right click on one and "Create Storyboard", then just click on the edge you want the transition on and hit cmd + t. This is your basic crossfade. Then you drag whichever transition you want over into the transition block and make adjustments. Why all clips aren't naturally considered to be on the same storyboard, I haven't the faintest, but keep in mind this could still be user error
Hope that helps!