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Those are the perfect questions, Cadet, and there is no onesizefitsall answer.
I am not speaking for other moderators, just giving my best answer based on my experience.
There can be 12-60 posts on a given day to approve, and especially if I have missed a day approving posts. So my goal is to read and approve the posts as quickly as possible, and then see who I have determined can come off full moderation. That's the short version.
"Good posting behavior" -- Following terms of service. Do you have to follow DB advice, no. Do you have to only give DB advice -- no. Can you give advice contrary to DB -- it depends on what it is.
When does moderation end: When the moderator has confidence in the posting behavior. It is not a certain number of posts.
When threads like this are closed so no one else can post, to you and me it might seem 'cleaner', but more folks get upset that they cannot respond with a question. (Notice that you personally were able to ask these questions in a forum that everyone can see.)
Is moderation different for a new poster on their own thread vs someone else's thread -- to me that is the most excellent question. I will just say -- for me -- when a newbie is posting all over the place it's harder to follow, to get a sense of continuity.