Wearing a softshell under a hardshell is probably going to reduce the amount of "breathability" you have over all a fair amount. I would say that this jacket should be able to fit over the welder, but I wouldn't suggest doing it. Wear a puffy or straight fleece with no softshell under this instead for better performance.
Test numbers are really pretty hard to get meaningful information from in my opinion. I have heard good things about this material, though reviews are a tad mixed about the jacket it self it seems. I have heard amazing things about Neoshell though, and personally will be buying a jacket made from that material when my current shell dies.
I'm the same size as you, and when I tried this jacket on a medium fit well, though the whole jacket is a tad big baggy in my opinion. It's a fairly light jacket though, so if you will be wearing it under a shell it should be fine.
you sure can, though seeing as this jacket isn't made of gore-tex it might be a little over the top. I would suggest using Gear Aid Tenacious Tape (http://www.mcnett.com/gearaid/tenacious-tape#10691) to cover the ripped area and pull it together, and if you want it to be really strong put a thin layer of seam grip around the outside of the patch (http://www.mcnett.com/gearaid/seam-grip#10510)
If you do a little digging I think you can find some reviews and more info on this jacket, I believe there was a different product page for last years version of the jacket (same name and everything) that had some reviews, etc. on it. There may also be some independent reviews if you do some googling.
I've never worn the Burton Freebird jacket, but I have tried this jacket on and found that the size is true with a very generous fit for layering. I am 6'1" and usually wear a medium. Medium in this jacket felt great, plenty of length in the sleeves and torso, plenty of space to layer a puffy, etc. if needed, and enough space for easy mobility without extra fabric hanging off me everywhere. I'd say go with your normal size for a good active skiing/split boarding fit.
Depends on the temperatures, right now it's about 25 deg F there so assuming it's similar in a few weeks, I would say if you have on a base layer (synthetic or merino wool) and then a fleece or synthetic fill piece you should be all set. Fleeces like the Patagonia R3, or Mountain Hardware Monkey Man, or synthetic pieces like the Arc'Teryx Atom LT or Patagonia Nanopuff would all be good options.
They could probably work for it, you might get a bit more cold air moving through the vents then you want though. You would probably be better off buying a dedicated pair of snowsport googles, unless you are only using them very infrequently and will use these mostly for biking.
I would say a small should probably fit you pretty well, you would have enough room under for a base layer, or a button up shirt I assume. This sweater has a bit of a boxy cut in my opinion, I'm 6'1" 175, and wear a medium with a comfortably to roomy fit.
I am not sure if you are wishing there were more xxl sizes on sale or less, but I know that in my experience I see more xl and xxl items on sale then most other sizes, most likely because these are less common sizes to sell so they are left over stock that needs to be sold off at the end of the season.
The 40x32 size should fit you well enough. The legs might be a bit long for you, but it's hard to say without knowing what your inseam is.
Yes if you order the wrong size you can send them back and get a new pair. Or you could order both sizes you are unsure about and then send back the ones that don't fit. You can read more about BC's return policy here: http://www.backcountry.com/sc/returnguarantee
Dri Release is (85% polyester, 15% cotton)
Yes, it should fend of light rain for a while, and heavy rain for about long enough to dash from your car inside.
Disclaimer: I don't own either of these jackets, however from what I know about specific use of these jackets and how different kinds of products are cut I would suggest the following. The Ambler jacket (that you mentioned seems big) is a 'big' puffy. It's meant to wear while belaying, hanging around camp, and generally will be worn on top of all other layers, including a shell. This jacket (the Eigerjoch) is a bit slimmer, and seems to be cut more athletically, it is made for layering under a shell as an insulation layer if needed, and generally has a much different purpose then the ambler. I would suggest that this jacket will fit more similarly to how you would expect a medium to fit
Yes, the venture jacket has a hood.
Disclaimor: I don't own either of these shoes, but it is my impression that for this season Salomon split the 'fell' line into two different shoes. This one (the fellcross) is the lightweight hightech racing version, and the fellraiser (http://www.backcountry.com/salomon-fell-raiser-trail-running-shoe-mens?ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6RkVMTFJBSVNFUjoxOjE6RkVMTFJBSVNFUg) is the more everyday shoe or training, etc. Take a look at the fellraiser, I have heard excellent things about them, and they might be closer to what you are looking for.
I think a small would probably fit you best.
This is just a shell jacket, so it is not going to be all that warm by its self. Something like this might keep most people warm down to like 40 degrees F, though you could easily add some layers like a thick fleece or down jacket underneath to stay comfortable down to much lower (read: around 0 degrees F) temperatures.
Sleeve are pretty good length on this guy. I have a 6'1"+ wingspan and my medium is always comfortably around my wrists. There are no thumb holes on this baby, though I wish there were!