To be fair, piob, these are all things you should have researched before you went ahead and decided to buy an iPhone.
I know you acknowledged your lack of due diligence earlier, but, again, you can't blame the product for failing to have something you expect when you never researched whether it even has it in the first place!
Not trying to be snarky or rude or anything.
Honestly, give it a couple weeks and get used to the OS. It was a very jarring experience for me as well when I made the leap from an iPhone 4 to the Galaxy Nexus. Everything was foreign. I hated how complicated everything was on Droid compared to iOS -- not to mention, all the customizability the Droid offers was largely irrelevant for me. Since I 'grew up' in the smart phone world with an iPhone, its OS experience that focuses on simplicity was the type I was used to. I think for you, it's the opposite, since you probably started with a Droid.
It's no surprise, at all, that you're finding everything so difficult. Give it some time, brah.
Oh, and most people search for their contacts by name. It makes it easier to sort/alphabetize/jump through long lists of contacts that way. Only old people need pictures
Edit: FWIW, my Nexus was a shitshow. It was extremely buggy. Apps crashed all the time. The battery life was ABYSMAL. Like, SO, SO, SO, SO bad. Everything felt foreign -- to Douglas' point. It was not as 'smooth,' both in terms of visual transitions and simple processing, and so forth. With the iPhone 5 and everything I use it for, it all really does just work (yes, even Maps).