Ok, clearly my intent was not interpreted correctly here.
I chose not to post in the help section because I wanted ARCH developers to be aware that 1. Defaults in inch units cannot be set in the arch settings, 2. Typing in a foot value does not work when creating walls, etc.
These are ARCH specific questions/complaints, not questions on dimensioning or using freecad normally in inches (I'm about 50/50 inch/metric).
I have learned LibreCAD now and finished my rough draft and I will continue to play with Arch now that I have DXF files to play with (I can put the calculator down now
Thank you for your help, and I wish ARCH a happy development.