I think if you say something like 'pagi hari' it's a generic 'in the morning' that could be about any or every day (depending on the context of the rest of the sentence), whereas 'pagi ini' means this morning specifically.
I disagree. I would, have and do say it as presented. It's how I teach my students, as well. My colleague agrees with you, but says it's because he doesn't use the word 'whom.' ...THAT, is strange, hahaha