Ok, a fair few questions and opinions and, being a sucker for punishment and having time on my hands (I'm currently being made redundent - oh the joy of financial services) so here goes....
a) 95% Mortgages - I wouldn't expect to see them retuning for a good few years yet I'm afraid. The lenders would need to see a positive, sustained upwards trend in house prices as well as increased funding to them via wholesale money markets to justify it.
b) anagallis_arvensis - I'm afraid I can't give you specific advice here; but send me your location in the country (email@example.com) and I can put you in touch with a decent advisor who'll be happy to help.
c) London & Country - I know L&C (they used to be one of my key accounts) and if you're happy to deal over the phone and all you want is mortgage advice (as opposed to full financial advice covering protection, pensions, etc) then they are brilliant.
d) Credit Score - the 999 refered to will be the credit score on an Experian or Equifax file. It's for guidence only - every lender will have their own credit score system and each will have their own "perfect client", so don't pay too much attention to the score on your credit file. I'd have to agree with the comments made that if you occupation is Armed Forces most score cards will punish you for it - it's a high risk occupation!
e) Quantitive Easing/Lack of Money (this might get heavy - sorry!):
Basically lenders can no longer sell debt on, the market is simply not there. So all lending is Balance Sheet Lending, i.e. they keep the loans. This means they have to fund the loans themselves in the long term, this ties up the money so they can't produce a new loan until older loans are paid-off.
Second issue is that they require money to be deposited to lend it out, this is from 2 sources - you and me (retail) and institutions (wholesale). Wholesale money is lacking (poor sales = no profit, so nothing to bank!) and retail money is fiercly competitive - that's why you can get a savings account at 3% when base rate is sub 1%. The problem is then; if you got the money in at 3% you have to lend it at over that to cover the 3%, plus your costs, plus porfit - hence mortgage rates are 4.5% and over.