Re: Cutting a hole in the bass drum...How big, methods etc...
Most holes in a bass drum are 5 inches in diameter. The amount of holes depends on the amount of Microphones your are planning to put in it (one mic for each hole)
I can reccomend the kickport too, they optomise the bass drum sound and it means you dont have to fill the drum with curtains and towels.
As many others have mentioned, it is possible to simply remove the front head and stick the mic in there, which is a free option, yet most will find it aestetically unpleasant.
If you want to go the full way, take a look at the May Micing System. This company puts the mic inside the drums, probably real expensive though!