Jack: Great questions!
Here are my opinions on these matters:
1) You should send in your log, even if you don't think it competitive. It's
fun to see your call in the results, people will get to know your call, and
your log enables the log checkers to verify the accuracy of other logs. If
they don't want to spend time scoring them, they won't. I think typically
checkers spend signficiant time on the higher scoring logs, so you won't be
burdening log checkers with much extra work.
2) Send QSL cards for those QSOs you want confirmed, and its nice to send
cards to those that ask for yours. Some will come with a return envelope and
stamp, some will come as post cards and will ask you to send a card. Whether
you respond to those without return postage is a matter of personal
preference. I tend to respond because I don't get enough that it's a
financial burden. MO isn't rare enough that you'll be buried in cards without
return postage, but you're within your rights not to respond to a card without
a return SASE or a postage stamp. If someone wants your card, they should pay
the postage. The same applies to you requesting someone else's card.
3) No one expects you to QSL every contact.
Welcome to contesting!
73 de Dick, K6KR, G0MFO
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