But, yeah. I agree on everything except one thing. If spending time on stuff that doesn't matter doesn't worry you... Well, it should.
Anyway yes, most fairytales, and a whole lot of other stories as well, center around something bad happening, and then the characters overcome their troubles somehow and get a good ending. That doesn't mean that they all have the same meaning. The ugly duckling, specifically, have its main character being born to a seemingly bad life - it is completely out of his control, he is a freakish misfit. Then he becomes an outcast. Then by some complete deus ex machina he is welcomed into a group of very beautiful and successful people (the swans). This is definitely not the same as in tales where the persistent effort, or even whimsical choice, of the involved characters overcome hardships - such as in Snow White or most of the others you mention - both the troubles and its solution are predetermined. Of course, a duck mother can't lay swan eggs. That's why the story is about a renegade misfit's wish for a predetermined deus ex machina to save him from his situation - a person without hope wouldn't hope for himself, or anyone else, to save him, so that's all that's left.
It's really a very sad story, but then again it's written by a Danish guy.
Are you serious about that last part. I looked on Amazon and they cost like $30 together. Probably you will have some stories twice if you buy that.
They also have the entire 1001 Nights for $82 lol