1. You've obviously been reading the wrong things.
2. One word: WEBMIN
3. Erm, it's pretty much the same. Open up a console (the thing that looks like a dos box) and type ping. Sure the info is sparse, but then there's the man pages for ping
which are more indepth than any dos-command-with-no-parameters could be.
Perhaps you're looking at things from the wrong perspective. Linux was not created to take over MS on the desktop market. Yeah, it'd be nice, but it's not going to happen... yet? It wasn't even created for those that don't want to use MS. If you want to know why it was created, then I suggest you do a little searching.