The concept of "Tao" is not really an orthodox Buddhist topic at all. It may have some bearing on Chinese interpretations of Buddhism, perhaps, but it's really a peripheral issue, even then.
You're asking a lot of questions, and Buddha himself stressed the importance of questioning the teachings, weighing them in one's mind. But....I think that frankly, your time is better served, at this stage in your search, by finding some good, basic books on the general concepts of Buddhism, spending some quality time with those books, and keeping an open mind, and accepting that one cannot learn everything about Buddhism overnight.
I believe some book titles were suggested previously. Then, if one wishes to move from a position of intellectual understanding the Dharma and what it's positions on issues may be, to a position of "practice" and experience, one really needs a teacher.
"Buddhism" is a huge, huge, subject...bottomless, really. The varieties of manifestation of the Dharma are more various than the sub-branches of Christianity, in my opinion. But in order to understand the common elements, a couple good books will take you far. In order to put Buddhism into practice, though, no book will do.
I hope these words help put things into some perspective for you.
"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")