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No if you use List Definition with List Instance element, you can set the list instance property Deployment Conflict Resolution=None and your list instance will not be deployed (or not replaced with a new one). The list instance will only be created if it doesn't already exists. If it exists nothing will happen, nor the items will be touched.


You cannot update existing Content Type (or list) definitions by installing updated feature that contains updated definitions. You need to add custom code that is run when feature is activated and which updates existing content type and list. The new content type/list definition pair you can add using the same method you did for the first ones earlier - but ...


AFAIK no. If you deploy a web scoped feature to 'site collection', it will be actually deployed to root web of a site collection. It will still be accessible through Site features link in Site settings, and not through Site collection features link. Force flag has nothing to do with the scope.

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