Finally, will the survivors be smart enough to use suppressed and silenced weapons later on in the series? Heck, even bows and crossbows would work. [...]
Improvised weapons became common in the comics as the series progressed. I'd be very surprised if the tv series doesn't end up using some as well, especially since the show has already made a point of Rick addressing the issue of ammunition.
[...] Now we just need some kickass female characters!
Frank Darabont has discussed the possibility of introducing a character in season 2 from the comics named Michonne, which would actually bring her into the tv series much earlier than she debuted in the comics (issue #19). With her katana, I can guarantee she'd fit your hope quite well.