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10 Day Itinerary in Italy...Need Help!!!

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This is my first trip to Europe, we are from the US and live in China at this time. We have traveled extensively so please throw out some ideas...we are open to suggestions!. We are arriving in Rome at 9am Feb. 6th and flying out of Venice on Feb. 15th at 11pm, so I would consider this 10 full days. I have not booked anything other than the flights and have these questions: 1. Is 3 days in Rome enough time to see most of the sites? 2. We plan to travel by train to Florence and make that a base camp for 4 days to explore the region (based on feedback from this site). 3. Should we plan to rent a car for one day or will buses/trains from Florence get us to most cities? We do like scenery and unique destinations. 4. Take the train from Florence to Venice and spend 2 nights and the last full day there before our 11pm flight.
I need lots of help to fill in the gaps...is Pompeii an option during our Rome stay or is it too far to travel? Is Pisa and the surrounding area a good day trip from Florence or should we stick with Siena and other small cities?
Can you also give me some advice on things that are a 'must see' in each of the destinations? Also, any tips on mid range or average/clean hotels would be a plus!
Thanks so much! Any and all help is appreciated (only 3.5 weeks away)!

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