2. Bring lenses similar to what you would normally use. Should be fine. If you do not shoot tele, the 17-55 will be fine. But I do bring my 55-200 and 50/1.8with me.
3. If you are the type that is afraid of cold, gloves is recommended. Buy it in shanghai, very much cheaper there. Get those thin ones (I like leather ones) not those thick ones. Those are for cold white winters in the North. Seriously, Nov is not that cold. I still go around walking in long sleeve polo only. Then again, I love the cold.
4a. Check out the camera stores in Shanghai. Prices on par with HK, and you get to buy a lot of cheap china-made accessories and tripods. OP's HQ is also there, close to Shanghai railway station. Tons of stores there. There is also a new mall there dedicated to camera equipment. I think it is off XieTu Road. For computer stuff check out Metro (Mei Lou Cheng). Please check and double check whenever you buy something in China, could be fake, could be lousy. Always bargin like the seller owes you money. It is expected and no offense will be taken.
4b. Travel using the public transport, for Suzhou take trains in Shanghai railway station. For Hangzhou, take trains in Shanghai South railway station. Take the bullet trains, it is called (DongCheZhu - Moving Car Group). Watch your stuff in trains and train stations, do not sleep if you are travelling alone. If you do, hug your bag and sleep.
4c. Shanghai is generally safe. But watch your pockets in crowded places.carry backpacks in front, and put wallets and phones in front pockets, put your hand in the pockets, or dress/position yourself to make it not easy to pick your pocket or slash your bag.
What else do you want to know?