In order to achieve the results you want, you need to understand the function of each ingredient in your cookie. This web page is a good place to start:
Here's another article of interest:
To answer your questions specifically:
1) The type of shortening (fat) you use does affect spread. Shortening (high ratio too) has no water content, so whatever you bake with it won't spread as much as if you'd used butter (assuming you haven't overcreamed the fat and sugars in the first place). On the subject of overcreaming, let me also add that your technique in mixing the dough affects your outcome as much as the type of ingredients you use.
When you use butter as your fat, you can expect a little more spread and somewhat crisper edges.
It's very possible your cookies are deflating not because of the high ratio shortening, but because you may have overcreamed or you may also have too much baking soda or sugar in your recipe. Too much soda causes spread and too much sugar also causes spread.
Have you tried using an already tested chocolate chip cookie recipe and making tweaks to it, rather than building a recipe from the ground up? That's an easier way to do it.
Last word: although shortening can create a higher and lighter cookie, you really lose a lot in flavor. To me, shortening is NOT worth it. I'd never use it in a chocolate chip cookie myself. You can create nice thick cookies with butter; it's not impossible.....I've done it for years.
Also, I must ask, why no browning? Pale cookies are kind of......unappetizing.