I'm not sure bout the hubris thing. Tony's whole motivation in the first movie is to survive after being captured. The arc reactor replaced the car battery AND powered the first suit, while also allowing him to work on said suit without having to lug it around. I'm wondering if we can reconcile the palladium poissoning as something he HAD to do to counteract something ELSE that the reactor had been doing to him, or that he had become dependent on the reactor to serve as a really powerful pacemaker or something (as has happened in the comics). I've no problem watching the movie as a character piece, but the show is tough to watch knowing that the arc reactor, if it was indeed killing him, should NOT have been a problem to remove or replace with something else.
Regarding the armor thing, I always figured that Tony can't do anything armored up without JARVIS in some capacity, and the only active version of the AI was in the Mark 42 after the rest of the house was destroyed. We see in the first movie that JARVIS needs to be uploaded into a new armor, so it's reasonable to assume that the other suits are useless without at least being activated by the AI or Tony himself.
With the house and its version of JARVIS gone, Tony wouldn't be able to do squat with any armor until he fixed the AI to the point that it could remote to the wine cellar, upload itself into the armor stored there (or simply activate them), and call in the cavalry. Until that point, he was pretty much on his own and had to get to Florida pronto and incognito anyway. Isn't that pretty much what happened?
And as for funding, Batman had a credit card which I presume was untraceable, so...