I can't find a thorough explanation of what these two buttons do.
I thought when adding a RigidBody and turning Static off, I would get a rigidbody that stays still, but it doesn't! It still falls down. (how do I create a static rigidbody?)
So what are these buttons for exactly?
Active seems to hide the gameobject. But are theseg gameobjects then really GONE or just not being rendered? Can I still use the objects in my script if they are inactive?
Active is for pretty much disabling the object and moving it away from the scene - Find won't find it, etc
Static is for occlusion culling, batching and lightmapping ( http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Components/class-GameObject.html )
To make your rigidbody "static", click the Is Kinematic tickbox for the rigidbody itself. That will stop the rigidbody from responding to physics, and will only move or rotate when you tell it to with Rigidbody.MoveRotation and MovePosition