Someone confirm this for me please because I might be full of shit, or I may not understand the question properly. On top of that, I've only been using Linux for a couple weeks, but here goes nothing:
To keep yourself from having to customize gnome every time you log on, when you get the log out/shutdown popup, select the box that says, "Save my settings" and it will keep the changes that you've made. Otherwise, you will have to change them every time you log in.
As for the display problems, I'm still having trouble with mine, so can't help you there!!!
Someone please chime if I'm incorrect.