1. I don't ever try to re-use carb. needles. Almost like asking for trouble. The seat is the other part of the equation and it is prone to damage too. Especially if ethanol is present in your gas.
2. Your best bet is a new carburetor. Get a Nikki for it if you can. Briggs tends to swap back and forth between Walbro and Nikki and a Nikki might not be available this month.
3. If you by chance already have a Nikki carb. on it, the float level is permanenty set and yes, it does look wacky angled up like that.