Re: The involved dads...
In my neck of the woods--big city--it's completely normal to see kids with all kinds of caregivers: moms, dads, nannies, grandparents, as well as single-parent families and families with gay or lesbian parents. Tons of dads do drop-off or pick-up at dd's school; in our house, dh does drop-off and I do pick-up. At the park, there are always plenty of dads out with their kids. When we take dd to birthday parties, there's about a 50/50 split between dads/moms as the parent-on-call.
When we lived in the suburbs, there was a much greater expectation that moms would be taking care of the kids, making the school lunches, and going to the birthday parties. But I still saw plenty of involved dads among dd's friends.