At this time the Argent Tournament is not dependent on any previous Icecrown quest line or phasing. Will it be in the future? Who knows.
"If The9 negotiations fall through and China loses WoW, will we have a better shot at getting Pandarens?"
Doubtful. Even if The9 doesn't end up producing a Chinese variant of WoW, some other company will. And beyond that the folks at Blizzard strive to be very respectful of other cultures and traditions. While there may be some subtle jokes and innuendo throughout the game that are unintentionally offensive, there is nothing that plays a major role in the game that is overtly offensive to a particular group of people. Now this can be debated, but that's not the point. The point is – don't look for Pandarens.
"What is Blizzard's reasoning for putting several features in one patch instead of releasing each in a smaller patch when it's ready to go?"
Releasing a patch is a big deal. In addition to just the programming of both the client and server side software, there is also the distribution of the patch. These things in the end cost a lot of money. Both in man hours spent working on them and in the bandwidth it takes for millions of players to download content. Reducing that as much as possible, which includes not releasing a patch every week, is a very smart idea.
"I'm getting a new computer in this week and I would really like to avoid having to go through the whole installation process of Vanilla WoW, BC and Wrath all over again before I can play on it. Is there any way to get the files onto my computer from my old computer instead?"
You'll want to copy over the old World of Warcraft directory to your new computer. You do not need to reinstall the game from scratch. The last time I installed WoW from scratch was over two years ago and I've gone through a few computers since then.
As for the easiest way to copy across the directory, you'll probably want to pick up an external USB hard drive (or a very large USB memory stick) from Best Buy or someplace. Here's an external hard drive I found on New Egg that should work nicely. (Side note: We're not responsible if you or something else screws up your computer, we have to say this because you'd be surprised how easily people turn around and place blame.) There are a lot of other options too, and I'm sure some commenters will weigh in with their two to twenty cents. Be sure to shop around though, as these things are often on sale.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!