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OT Portable Recording Studio Purchasing Advice Sought

Hi everyone,    Rick Walker here.

Happy New Years to you all!

I have a production client right now who wants to invest in a really good
traveling recording studio.

He wants to be able to record on both Windows and Mac OSX

Right now we are deciding  about the purchase of items for a suitcase 
recording studio
that is really high quality  and
I wondered if anyone can advise me on what to advise him.

Firstly,    We are looking at the RME Firewire 400 and the 800
*1st Question:     Do you think the RME firewire 800 is too bulky for 
international travel.

2nd Question:    Is there another firewire (or USB2)  breakout box that 
you particularly
like as an alternative?   Anything less expensive than the RME that is 
comparable in quality?

His HP Pavillion DV5000 laptop doesn't have a Firewire interface but
there is a firewire card that he and purchase for to connect this.

*3rd Question:   Is there any down size to using a firewire interface 
for this particular computer?

*Next,  we are looking at getting a pencil condenser microphone that 
would be the equivalent
of the Neumann KM184  or the KM150.

These are very pricey mics.     

*4th Question:  Are there any screaming deals in high quality pencil 
condenser microphones
that you know of that are not so pricey?     *I know that there are now 
a plethora of good quality
condensers on the market including a lot of really inexpensive ones made 
in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Lastly,   we have looked at this unit for a lighweight and compact 
headphone distribution amplifier

  Sound Devices HX-3 - 3 Channel Portable Headphone Amplifier     
  price  $379.00

*5th Question:    Does anyone know of an alternate to this headphone 
amplifier that might be less expensive
but do the trick?   It needs to be very portable and run on batteries.

*Thanks so very much for your advice.  I sooo appreciate the level of 
expertise on this list.

yours,   in the loop,

Rick Walker