locate, dpkg and modprobe.
locate should be very similar. dpkg can be configured, but I personally prefer yum with the livna repos enabled. modprobe behaves the same way in every distro to my knowledge. It would help if you could post more specific questions on your problems.
How to restart the Xserver & others from textmode eg. /etc/init.d/whatever restart
startx? If you use a windowmanager create the ~/.xinitrc file and put your 'exec wm' line there. You could also try killing gdm/kdm and that would automatically restart X.
/etc/init.d/whatever restart works in Fedora as well. Assuming of course that 'whatever' is the service in question.
I don't know the status of proprietary drivers because I don't use them. So you might want to wait for a bit for someone else to respond to that. You could of course try removing the xorg.conf file and let Fedora automatically detect the settings for you.
PS: Perhaps this is the biggest advantage of buying Intel hardware; both the wireless and the GMA graphics are supported through free software drivers! Oh, and welcome to the Fedora world