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Question 1

When using ros_control, the /joint_states topic is published by an instance of the JointStateController. This is a read-only controller that does not command any joint, but rather publishes the current joint states at a configurable frequency.

To run this controller you need to load its configuration to the ROS parameter server and load/start it in the controller manager. This launch file in the controller's repository does just that.

Once you have a valid joint_states topic, tf should start publishing frame data, and tf-dependent Rviz plugins like RobotModel should also work.

Question 2

These resources are currently available:

At some point these should probably be consolidated in a single place.

If you still have unanswered questions, don't hesitate to ask. There's a ROS Control SIG you might be interested in joining for ros_control-specific discussions.

Finally, consider that ros_control is not yet officially released, and not all parts of the documentation have reached maturity. Feature requests and patches are always welcome.