I don't know where to buy a CC, but I can answer the other questions.
All CCs (1.0 to 2.0SLE) work with your PS2, it's just the chips hardware that differes between versions. The CC 1.x has a small EEPROM on it which only holds the firmware, BootManager has to be stored on memory card. The CC 2.x has a 1MB (or 2MB for the SLE) flash memory where you can store both firmware and BootManager. You shouldn't get a 1.0 though, cause it's not as stable as newer versions.
About the soldering: There's a soldering guide in the CC Wiki. It's for a slim PS2, but the general tips and techniques apply to all PS2 models: http://ccwiki.psx-scene.com/index.ph...our_slim_PSTwo
I've attached the install diagram for the v7/8 here, that should get you started.
IIRC, the v7/8 doesn't need a laser fix or something like that. Many people even say it's the best PS2 model out there, esp. when talking about the laser. Use good quality media like Verbatim or Tayio Yuden, don't burn too fast (max. 8x), always use DVD-R, don't use RWs and consider buying a network adapter and an HDD to play games off the hard drive with HD Loader. That will prolong the life of your laser to the max. But be prepared that your laser will die sooner or later, they're not build for eternity. So the network adapter + HDD is really the best investment for your PS2.
best regards Jones23