Well, if by 'rocket' you're referring to the aforementioned 'supersport', you will be ok with no experience if you have good throttle control and ride responsibly. Conversely, if you have 20 years experience and don't have effective throttle control or ride irresponsibly, then you won't be ok. Forget the mode switch. If you're buying a liter bike just to have one, don't buy it.
Regarding your RR question, if by 'how well they hold up' you mean quality-wise, it's like Ford and Chevy, Coke and Pepsi. Everyone has their preferences, but bottom line, not too different. If you mean performance-wise, there's not a difference big enough in any two liter bikes out there that the average rider would be able to notice in 'regular' riding. The GSXR is torquier (at least the k6 is), but it comes down to you. If you're asking if you can kick his ass from traffic light to traffic light, sure, if you're the superior rider.
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Sl_Easy does it....
If someone gets a job manufacturing Blackberry's, did they get a RIM JOB?