1.) What is the reasoning behind minisites? I have my site split into three right now (entertainment, technology, and home goods) but they all just have reviews on them and this seems to be messing with my url structure and I don't think the multiple minisites are needed.
Ultimately I would like my site to work a lot like digitaltrends.com -- all reviews would be housed under "product reviews"-- perhaps a single minisite to house all those reviews.
2.) Not sure if this would be doable for the url Structure for product reviews or not.
That would just be for reviews -- if I want to have other areas of the site like seen on digitaltrends.com such as news, videos, giveaways i don't want url structure on those to read product-reviews/category/ (maybe we just don't show the minisite name in the permalink?)
3.) What would be best option to set those other areas up -- minisites or just pages/posts?
1) It's so you can segment your content into different "portals" or groups of posts that are styled differently, so it feels like you are sort of in a site within your site. They are absolutely optional and not required. A lot of people use Flavor without using the minisites feature.
2) The permalinks for posts within minisites would function differently from other posts because of the way the WordPress permalink engine works with Custom Post Types (which are technically what minisites actually are).
3) It depends on how many sections you have. I wouldn't recommend going past 6 or 7 minisites at the post because it can become hard to manage all of that - this might indicate you need to organize your content differently.
1.) So if I only had a minisite for "reviews" how would I set that up for a link structure of sitename.com/minisite/category/postname?
2.) Posts outside of the minisite I could just set standard wordpress permalinks? Category/ Post-Name?
1) Not sure if you can get there or not with the theme, might require some tinkering with the permalinks.