I will try to help answer some of your questions. Cubase uses something similar to iLok but called Steinberg eLicenser. The Pro and Artist versions require the USB eLicenser (a physical device). Elements can be on a software eLicenser (license stored on the hard drive) OR on the USB eLicenser. You can get an electronic delivery if you already have a USB eLicenser which can be purchased seperately (I believe Sweetwater sells them as well as others). The “boxed” version comes with the eLicenser and a code and download instructions in the box. I saw some posts talking about an option for the “media” DVDs as well if one wants those.
Cubase does have a score view built in that I know absolutely nothing about but I know that some use it for composition.
Lastly, there is a trial so you can test it out and see if you like it. You can trial Pro if you havea USB eLicenser or you can trial Elements without one. Just check the product page.