Should I use 115v L1 charge as much as possible, avoid high rates of charging?
L-2 charging doesn't heat the pack much either. It's Quick Charging that generates lots of extra heat.
Does the 2014 have Lizard battery tech and does that involve cooling the battery during charging?
The "Lizard" packs have no active cooling either - just somewhat more heat resistant chemistry. In high heat it isn't extremely effective. There are a few late 2014 cars that may have this pack, but officially the 2014 has the same pack as the later 2013 cars. It isn't a bad pack in normal heat...
Do I need to go to a Nissan dealership for an "annual" battery check right away, since I'm buying from RedRockAutoAZ.com which is independent?
The annual check has to be done by a Nissan dealer. Normally we don't tell people to get them religiously, but since you live in Arizona, you might want to get them...
Does skipping the annual battery check void the warranty?
In theory, but so far not in practice. We don't know of anyone who was denied a replacement pack for that reason alone.
I've had 4 hybrid cars since 2003. Are there any significant differences in driving an EV?
LOTS more low speed torque. You'll wonder how you could stand driving a Prius or Civic hybrid.
Does the 12v battery have a charging system of its' own (charging when connected to AC charge cord) or is it charged from the drive battery?
It is charged by the car. Earlier leafs, especially 2013 cars, have problems with this, but as of 2014 or 2015 they seem to have largely fixed the problem. Will your car have issues with that? Can't say.