That will be the challenge -- Aperture is really designed to replace your RAW converter. That is to say, you would use Aperture *instead* of Nikon Capture, or Adobe Camera RAW, or Capture One, or Lightoom.
For #2, project work between a laptop and desktop works pretty well with managed projects (i.e. contained within the library) as you can export/import them as atomic units.
On #3, this is correct -- Aperture will not rename the RAW files (UNLESS you use "relocate masters."). But if you export a file to TIFF or JPEG, you get this functionality.
Many thanks, yes, sorry once again for the pp, a little quick on the keyboard.
I had a long chat with an Aperture rep last year about a few things, and he was very excited as one can imagine.
He pointed out to us all, that Aperture was still at version 1.5, not 5 or 6 and it would evolve over time. There were lots of things they would like it to do. I would imagine that with the new OS release in October a version 2 will follow in spring 2008.
The only snag with Aperture as a convertor is that in terms of IQ, I do not think it as good as NX, plus I play around a lot in CS. I also normally shoot with camera settings off and NX interface makes it easy to add them later! Saying that I have found for small to mid size general and event style prints and quick web images, and family pictures it is fine.
However as far as I understand, raw updates will also reconvert the raw in already processed image files, which is potentially a bonus - or a pain!