I will answer from my own, non-scholar experience.
I have been reading the Al-Hilali/Khan translation of the Quran. What are people's opinions of this?
Praying 5 times a day in a certain way: Necessary, but flexible as one is learning how to pray and growing accustomed to an entirely new life-style. Saying "peace be upon him": it can be cumbersome, but it is also a nice way to identify who is who. I know, say... 80 people named "Mohammad". If I am having a conversation with someone, and I say "Mohammad, peace be upon him, said..." then it is very easy to identify WHICH Mohammad I am speaking of. No, I don't say it every single time I say "he", "Prophet", or "Mohammad/Jesus/Moses/Abraham/etc..." like some people, but it's more a reminder to hold this person as an example. Islam includes a personal relationship, a constant relationship where everything you do should be in remembrance of Allah. The outward actions also remind other Muslims to perform their actions. "Narrated Abu Qatadah: The Prophet (peace be upon him) went out at night and found Abu Bakr praying in a low voice, and he passed Umar ibn al-Khattab who was raising his voice while praying. When they both met the Prophet (peace be upon him) together, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I passed by you, Abu Bakr, when you were praying in a low voice. He replied: I made Him hear with Whom I was holding intimate converse, Apostle of Allah. He (the Prophet) said to Umar: I passed by you when you were praying in a loud voice. He replied: Apostle of Allah, I was awakening the drowsy and driving away the Devil. Al-Hasan added in his version: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Raise your voice a little, Abu Bakr, and he said to Umar: Lower your voice a little." There are people who try to follow Islam using only the Qur'an, but it leaves many empty holes in the religion. There is a ranking system for the "strength" of the hadith, the stories. This is why it's also important to listen to scholars and not just try to interpret things on your own. While it is important to heed your own intuition, we also have to understand that our hearts are inclined to set our own worldly being in front of our spiritual welfare.
Are you asking if being friends with homosexuals is a problem? Islam teaches love and tolerance. You are only asked to show, by example, what a correct way of life is. If they are trying to rope you into sin, that is when you would need to part ways.
I have seen many "scientific miracles" memes running around Facebook and the like that falsely interpret what the Qur'an said. Most of them, if you find a scholar who can actually EXPLAIN it to you, not just a simply-paraphrased sentence, you can see the truth in it. Remember, I am not a scholar and this is from my own experience and learning. Allah knows best.