1. I don't know about minimum, but I've got a couple of jars of chips and bourbon just sitting around waiting. I also use all of the bourbon they soak in, not just the chips.
2. As long as you enjoy the flavor. I wouldn't waste top shelf bourbon as that's simply better by itself. I use a variety of cheaper good tasting bourbons.
3. No worries.
4. I use mason jars. If the plastic bowl has a lid, that should be OK. I'd be worried about picking up flavors from the plastic, though. Perhaps unnecessarily so.
5. I don't think I've gone beyond seven days. Maybe 10 or so. I would taste it every couple of days to check. Pull the chips when you hit the flavor you like.
FWIW, I like the flavors of the darker oak chips.