1) The forum is the community and has no insight into the processes at the company. So we don't know anything until there is an official announcement.
2) Not until 2018 can also mean it will come 2020.
The difference to an unfair, unmodular phone in this scenario would be that the person who buys it from you can probably still use it for 4 years and be happy with it.
That's of course a good idea too. If you are not planning to keep the phone as long as possible even if a new model comes out, then it makes sense to get one that doesn't have that long anymore anyway.
I have not found myself in a single situation where I wished for better specs. Well maybe the battery life - that is always something that could be improved.
Well that's just not true. There is a troubleshooting tool on the FP website for all common issues an FP2 can have. You are asked to do a few things to try and fix/diagnose the issue and if those can't solve it the tool always ends with you contacting support to get a replacement.
If you want to do further troubleshooting before asking for a return there are more detailed guides for many issues on the forum, e.g. for random reboots they are here.
The old case breaking is a known issue and FP designed the new slim cases that don't have that issue. Old broken cases are replaced for free.