Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 188.8.131.52
I have sites hosted in the states but are Aussie orientated & they do not show in the search for Aust (however are top in the general world search.
THe whois are all Aussie address'
It scared me, but I figure most people just search generally. (hmmmmmm)
Q2. Yes probably, reading your mind, the site may be very disadvantaged if the server has been down at the wrong time.
Cheers from the Outback
As for your site being down when googlebot comes a'knockin - this just happened to us. We just optimised a site for one of our clients and quite unexpectedly got a PR1 for our primary keyword. Our traffic went through the roof and right before Googlebot came calling, the host closed the site for exceeding bandwidth (we didn't choose the host and have since moved the site to a new host). Googlebot came, we got dropped - timing couldn't have been worse. We're likely gonna be out of the game for a month now.