2. The Hole - According to the article, this zone "should be 2-4 person groupable." - YESSS!!!
Okay, this states that the area contains what used to be Old Paineel, as was mentioned in EQ1. New Paineel (the actual city from EQ1) is the city portion that will be present and active in EQ2.
So as far as I can tell, both Erudin and New Paineel were abandoned for a while in favor of Quel'ule (mentioned in link #1 of this post). Quel'ule was halved by a giant wall which kept the city in two parts, one for the worshipers of Quellious and the other good gods, and worshipers of Cazic Thule. At some point, the two factions of Erudites abandoned their gods (presumably because the gods were absent from Norrath for so long...we've only recently seen their return) and returned to New Paineel as one population. In spite of their turn from the gods, it still sounds like the Erudites, in their current city of New Paineel, are split by good and evil. I'm really curious to see how this is handled ingame.