In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."
Also, if I'm not mistaken, the PHB was originally planed to release in May, but it got delayed back to the same time as the DMG and MM. So, I think when they originally planned to release H1, they thought the PHB would already be available. Since that is no longer the case, they are going to add the quick-start rules and pre-gen characters.
As for level advancement, we'll just have to wait and see, but if they do it, I imagine it will be a pre-generated advancement. As in each character will have stats at level 1, 2, and 3.