From a technological standpoint the articles are still correct most of the time. But any that talk about constant speed degradation without any fixes are behind the times. It's mostly in the details. SSD (flash) technology still has a limited amount of program/erase cycles just as it did before those articles were written, but while the articles speak from a technical perspective, they don't speak practically or real-world. It's like how LGA1366 has a monstrous amount of memory bandwidth compared to AM3, and the memory benchmarks show it, but in real world apps the difference is barely noticeable most times (a few exceptions exist). Sure, it technically is
faster, but you probably won't ever notice it. In the same way SSDs do slowly die over time, but too slow for most people to notice without absolutely hammering the drive with writes, something that would also kill a HDD.
Anyway, on to your questions. Windows 7 supports TRIM but not all SSDs do. The older ones still lack support, mostly by the manufacturer's choice. There's no reason to buy the older SSDs. TRIM should work out of the box, although there are a few odd occasions where it hasn't. Unfortunately Microsoft in their infinite wisdom have decided that implementing the TRIM standard completely was unnecessary so like IE they've made their own "standard" which is a bit quirky and not exactly ideal. However, it's only exceptional cases where TRIM is actually a problem. Newer firmware revisions have reduced this as well, and some have implemented an algorithm that "defrags" the drive when there's no activity independent of the OS to maintain performance (Garbage Collection).
I certainly wouldn't keep my browser or page file off the SSD. I like having my browser start up almost instantly
This is the kind of typical usage that isn't going to harm an SSD at all. The drive will be well and truly obsolete before regular usage wears it out. If it can't be used for everyday tasks, it's not a very useful technology is it?
The Garbage Collection I mentioned before adds to the erase count, and it is implemented at the firmware level by the SSD controller manufacturer, so obviously you shouldn't worry about writes that much.
SSDs all have extra NAND that is visible only to the controller that replaces bad blocks when they can no longer be erased. The larger the SSD, the more "over-provisioned" NAND you have. This will sustain the drive for even longer as the erase count increases. Obviously the manufacturers don't want to sell a 60GB drive that after 2 years of usage starts to decrease in capacity because someone has written lots of data and expired many blocks
What you want to avoid is the urge to get a warm fuzzy feeling from high benchmark numbers. Benchmarks hammer the drive when done in excess and can significantly reduce its life. Also, avoid filling the drive beyond 80-85% capacity, as you would with a HDD, because slowdown is inevitable then and no amount of wear levelling, GC or TRIM will help until you free up space.
HDDs are so old that you'd never expect them to have problems now. SSDs are not truly plug-and-play as HDDs are because they are still a new technology only really designed for enthusiasts (this will change over the next 2 years) or for netbooks (but those ones are slow). However, for most people there won't be any significant issues. There's always official support forums if you do have problems.