Three questions about blogs and incoming links

Question: What are the most popular or best endorsed third-party page-view metering services (such as SiteMeter, etc.)?
Question: What are the most popular tools for analyzing real server logs when you have access to them?
Question: Where are the key sites to register your blog? I would say Eatonweb, Blogdex, Daypop, maybe Yahoo and the usual directory places, Bloghog? Bloghop? Blogsnob? Blog Hot or Not? The list is potentially endless, but what are the essential portals or directories of blogging today, assuming they exist?