2 - is it possible to synch MS Outlook for contacts and calendar to the L6 using the USB cable/connection?
Yes, I did it once (using bluetooth connection), but I don't keep my contacts in Outlook so I've forgotten how. But knowing that you can do it should give you enough motivation to keep trying. (hint, try to control the process from the PC).
1 - is it possible to upload photos taken on the L6 to a computer via the USB cable/connection?
I've never done it, but I can do it using bluetooth and I've read that others have achieved what you are trying to do.
Note: I'm in Australia, I don't know of any differences in installed software, so you may want to check that.