1) does the type of NPC determine anything else but the starting skills? (Can i use an unarmed brawler to fire a rifle if i up his skill points enough to be good at it? And are there any plans to change that?)
2) I saw someone list on CPM a lvl 1 NPC with 36 usp's. How is that possible?
1) At the moment yes, any NPC can perform in combat. Whether that changes in the future or not is unknown.
2) A while back, NPC were given the same number of skill points as players. This led to many getting 30-40 extra skill points. This was only for old ones as new ones had a set skill set that distributed them more like players.