First Nick, Welcome to the Family!!!
I'm in Japan, so I use Japanese Chisels, I buy them used (read CHEAP) and bring them back to life, they have treated me very well.
The Japanese chisels are meant to be pounded on, buy design, they even use a steel hammer, no wimpy wooden mallet stuff here
I don't do a lot of exotic hard woods, so I don't know about that part of the question, sorry.
I'd have to check to see what I grind them at, but it is nothing special, just the basic angle...........
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward