On the website it says the Respect company is based out of Northern Virginia and Santa Barbara CA, what shop in NOVA did you see it in?
Seems like a new company, I am 5'7" and used to ride BMX as a kid... Might be cool - especially if they end up offering the ones with automatic shifting or...
The chain and ITG hub cog wear together. If the bike had some miles on it (maybe the chain was worn n snapped?), the chain could not be seating perfectly with the teeth.
Same as deorman says, adjusting wheel location changes cable tension and might put you awkwardly between shift points.