1. No. Like I've said a few times, Bethesda decided to turn Fallout into a FPS to appeal to the current generation. VATS is the bone they threw to fans of the original's turn-based combat. That's as good as it gets.
2. The aim is to essentially wander around aimlessly, blindly following the POI markers until you stumble into things. For most major quests you get some sort of loose directional information, and sometimes NPCs will mention a location during a conversation that will add a marker to your map. If you are really lost beyond all hope, either search for a location map on the web or add the Explorer perk via the console using player.addperk 031de5 (if you are playing on PC).