Adding sugar to cider won't do anything except give it a high alcohol taste to it. Personally, when I want to taste that burn, I'll drink the hard stuff. Aging does diminish it somewhat though, which is a good thing. nickmpower, I'd suggest reading howtobrew.com. It's more focused on beer, but it will answer a lot of your questions as to what is happening with the fermentation.
BrewinJack, seriously you need to look into using paragraphs. That WALL OF TEXT is very hard to read and I ended up just skipping over it.