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Congratulations on the new bike. My experiance is that the SLC and other soloists are fast bikes period with or without the aero-ness probably because they are very fast and quite frankly, they look fast (which is half the battle when buying a new bike).

Tires: There is a lot to be read on this forum concerning tire thickness, particularly between 23 and 25. If you are worried about ride quality then I might stick with the 25's as they will smooth out the ride a little. Yes, most people with the SLC are probably going to be one 23c tires. My suggestion is that unless you plan on racing you should stick with the 25c's.

You can certainly mix and match some DA and SRAM although it might not run quite as well as a full shimano group. I would suggest going with the 12-27 Ultegra cassette it is cheaper and will provide you with a solid low end, plus you are never going to spin out of a 53x12 so don't worry about it.
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