To answer your questions:
1. I sold my converters and used the Midas ones - but there are analogue directs out of the desk all over so you can integrate your converter if you prefer.
2. The desk had a 16 in 16 out configurable FW grid so you could set up the digitals to cover direct channel in/outs or a combination including group in/outs and main mix buss in/outs - it's quite flexible.
Not trying to sell Midas to you by the way - just how I did what you're talking about...