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Mathematica frustrations...

I have recently started learning Mathematica.  I'm trying to  use it for
some data analysis and plotting, but so far I'm not having much luck. 
There are a few specific things  that  are  troubling me,  and  I'd
really appreciate hearing any advice or suggestions to help me work
around these problems.

One "feature" I find extremely frustrating is the  numbering  and
evaluation   order  of  equations  in  notebooks.   When  I  edit
something early in a notebook, I would like  Mathematica  to  re-
evaluate the  rest  of  the  notebook,  and  always  perform  the
notebook  evaluation in a straight top-to-bottom order.  Is there any
way to set an option to get  it  to  behave  that  way?   For things 
like  "%"  references  to  previous  results,  having the definition of
"previous" depend on what  you  edited  last  seems crazy.   I guess I
prefer the Mathcad way, in which evaluation is always in a well-defined
order determined by page layout.

Another  problem  is  that  Mathematica  seems  to   reset   plot
parameters  at  random, particularly after erroneous edits.  I am using
the  MultipleListPlot  and  ListPlot  functions  to  create graphs.  
After  I  get  the  graph sized how I like it (with the mouse), I will
sometimes try changing a  few  parameters  in  the graph.   If  I  make
a typo and Mathematica can't understand the command, my graph will jump
to some random different size once  I get the error fixed.

Finally, I'm about to give up on getting reasonable Legends on my plots.
Does  the  PlotLegend  option work for MultipleListPlot? Sometimes it
will show a Legend for me, and sometimes it won't.

FYI, I'm using Mathematica 3.0 on Linux.


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