Not really sure but from the research that I've been doing, it seems that Froakie will be quite unbalanced for most of the game. The start seems to have you deal with grass pokemon more, so Fenekin seems to be the best choice for a starter.
This might change at the end, when things start to balance out, but I'm just giving a heads up.
Fritz is now on a new adventure! more infors here: http://sheapered.blogspot.com/2013/09/looking-for-new-adventures.html
I don't think so. I never thought of Charmander that way even though he got his ass beat by the first two gyms back in the day.
And with the interviews stating that there will be a greater variety of pokemon available in the early routes, it seems like your starter choice won't be as significant/possibly devastating as it was in the past.