1) How do I disable the password recovery mechanism?
Booting up and 'show version' both show that the password recovery mechanism is enabled.
I followed the instructions for password recovery at http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/switches/cata...
Thanks Zaid - that did the trick with disabling password recovery.
Regarding the stack election (for future visitors to this thread) I changed the switch priority to 15 and that helps with boot-up time.
s3750(config)# switch 3 priority 15