Need some newbie advice

Hi everyone. After following Planetside 2 in development I'm getting the urge to play the original again (I know it's a little old but,  meh, I had fun when I played). I had a few quick questions that I was hoping to get some advice/info about:

1. Is it true there's only one server left? I wanted to give all three empires a try but I guess I'll have to pick just one if this is so.

2. Are any of the empires vastly more/less popular than the others?

3. My biggest interest is playing an 'engineer' style infantry character, using that nano-tool thing (ACE I think?). When I jump into a combat zone for the first time, what should I be doing to help my team as a starter?

I appreciate any input, it's been a long time. I'm also interested in being a MAX operator, but I want to save that for later. I figure I'll need to determine my empire first before asking advice on those things, since their abilities are different.

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