About character style formating
QXP displays + sign next to the paragraph style if it contains any character style formating. If you ALT click on this paragraph style the character formating is lost which is not a case in InDesign -- all character styles formatings are retained.
My opinion is that it is much better solution than yours with all those "Apply Style Sheet and Retain/Remove/Maintain..." options you provide in Paragraph Style Sheets palette.
InDesign supports character formating inside Paragraph Style sheets -- the same as you, few versions before. When you want to define Character Style in ID you will see (in the attachment) that all fields are empty (not assigned). You change only the field you need. If you chose Bold, and you format it with this character style, only that attribute of the selected text in the paragraph will be changed. That means -- if you change the character formating in the paragraph Style, the bold text (formated with the character style) will accept the font change without modifying the character style.
My opinion is that this is much better aproach than this in QXP.