[Q] Some very basic questions about new ROM

Hi! I have a US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S (SCH-I500). The current OS is android 2.3.5. I know that this will never get ICS or Jelly Bean, so I am thinking about using this as my first foray into Rooting/Modding. I would like to see Jelly Bean on this phone, but will settle for ICS.

I have spent the day reading post after post. I know more now than I did when I started, but still not sure how to proceed. I am really looking to upgrade the UI, but want stability and full functionality.

1. When done, do I still use the Google Play store?
2. Will the camera, text, phone, etc. all work?

I am looking for a Jelly Bean OS (ROM?). I have downloaded AOKP fancinatemtd jb milestone 1. Will this work on my phone, or is there a better fix?

Looking at this post:

I am not sure if this is the right set of instructions? If they are, at what point do I use the AOKP?

As you can tell, I am very confused and would appreciate some step by step direction. Thanks.

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