I am adding files to a file field in my node object. Do I have to specify a path for the file(s)? Can't I just add the files to the DB and just add the file objects to the node? I'd rather let Drupal care about the file system.
No, you don't have to specify a folder, file field will use 'sites/default/files' by default. In the file field settings there is a textfield to set a subfolder if needed.