Mailed it Tues morning. Delivery is supposed to take no more than three days. If you don't get today, you had BETTER get it tomorrow (and you should complain if anything is damanged or dead since it took them too long).
The cories are the "garbage crew". It's always good to have a bottom feeder of some kind to eat all the food that the betta misses. Cory catfish or kuhli loaches are great for this. For algae, I always hear that nerite snails are the best thing to get, though I've yet to try them out. Ramshorns and mystery snails don't seem to have done much for me though on the algae front.
I have found the extra room in my 30 gallon is pretty fun.
For the drive home, is there a way you could leave the plants/gravel in the tank with a bit of water and put it inside another container with all of it's accessories? That might be easier....
Mine seemed fine at first and I didn't want to take him back when I was informed about what type of fish he was going to grow into. I kind of grew attached to him (had him since he was just a baby, about 6-8 months I would say) and I really felt bad taking him back. It had to be done though, he grew up and started terrorizing Phantom (and the frogs) on a daily basis. We know the guys who run the fish section at the LPS pretty well, there is kind of a mutual trust in trades between us, haha. He assured me that he would keep the CAE in the big display tank (healthy and well established long 160 gallon) until someone asked to purchase him. He also then assured me that "no I won't let some idiot buy him" and it made me feel a little better about it.