Karolyn, so far, no you cant download to the Slice, but i have heard rumor that they want to do that in the future. i'm hoping for that as well.
as for the PTI, i dont have any to try for you, but sometimes you can cut thicker cs by cutting the design twice. choose your design, cut, press menu then cut again without moving the machine.
i am mostly a card / small item maker too so the slice is perfect for me! and my budget LOL