Kay, Mojang has made no statement a minecraft server is required to preserve your /chest. Technically, the server admins can do whatever they want. Mojang takes no stance on this. Good luck with your report.
They are, to a certain extend. We do not recommend using 1.8 since there are some compatibility issues. E.g. enchanting, it is not possible to enchant on the server using a 1.8 client. Other than that it doesn't run well, expect poor performance.
The server is running the full 1.8 update. Some plugins are broken for the time being but should be back soon. Some signs are broken because the way the server saves and formats them has changed in 1.8. Lock signs are broken and need to be replaced asap. Gate and Bridge signs need to be replaced as well. I tried a utility to automatically convert the signs, but that caused a lot more problems. Please, do not loot chests with broken locks.