I wouldn't mess with ReFS for the database. Just use it for the repository
Sounds good. I will install VBR on a non ReFS volume.
And developing the thought regarding staging server, be aware to use one (full-blown SQL server) if you want to restore SQL db larger than 10 GB (maximum size SQL Express supports).
I did not know this. This is a good thing to know. I don't think it will impact us as we do SQL backups and then just backup the files, but I will keep this in mind as we do have db's that are greater than 10GB.
Thanks for the info.