Answer to second part of question
Here's a 46 in the "second category": all pawn checks before any promotions. I don't think there's any particular need for spoiler markup here; it's not as if a casual glance at what follows will reveal much.
[FEN "8/8/8/8/7k/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w KQkq -"]
1. g3+ Kg4 2. h3+ Kf5 3. g4+ Kg5 4. h4+ Kf4
5. e3+ Ke4 6. f3+ Ke5 7. f4+ Ke4 8. d3+ Kd5
9. e4+ Kc5 10. d4+ Kb4 11. a3+ Kc4 12. b3+ Kb5
13. a4+ Kb4 14. c3+ Ka5 15. b4+ Kb6 16. a5+ Kb5
17. c4+ Kc6 18. b5+ Kd6 19. c5+ Ke6 20. d5+ Kf6
21. e5+ Kg6 22. h5+ Kh6 23. g5+ Kg7 24. h6+ Kg6
25. f5+ Kf7 26. g6+ Ke7 27. f6+ Kd7 28. e6+ Kc7
29. d6+ Kb7 30. a6+ Ka7 31. b6+ Kb8 32. a7+ Kb7
33. c6+ Kc8 34. b7+ Kd8 35. c7+ Ke8 36. d7+ Kf8
37. e7+ Kg8 38. f7+ Kh8 39. g7+ Kh7 40. g8=B+ Kxh6
41. f8=B+ Kh5 42. e8=B+ Kh4 43. d8=B+ Kh3 44. c8=B+ Kh2
45. b8=B+ Kh1 46. a8=B+
And here's a playable lichess link showing those moves.
It's pretty easy to see that you can't get 48 checks with this restriction. Proof: If you do then after the first 40 checks white's pawns must be on a7...h7. The last move was a check so the BK is somewhere on the 8th rank. And now his next move must be to capture a pawn, which means that that pawn can never give a "promotion-check". So, at most 47.
Is 47 possible? Well, it seems like there are two cases. 40 pawn checks and 7 promotion-checks; or 39 pawn checks and 8 promotion-checks. In the second case, if the "missing" pawn check isn't the very first pawn move then the pawns don't all promote and therefore we can't get 8 promotion-checks. I am fairly sure that any position you can achieve by making the first pawn move not be a check can equally well be achieved by making it be a check (and don't propose to prove this in detail; it's kinda obvious). So actually only the first case matters.
If there are 40 pawn checks then, as above, we must end up with white's pawns all the way across the 7th rank and black in check. In order not to be in check from two pawns simultaneously (obviously impossible) the BK must be in a corner, so WLOG the BK is at h8 and the last move was g7+. What was black's move before that? Kh8, obviously, but from where? Not from h7 because there's a white pawn there, so from either g7 or g8. On g8, the BK would have been in check from the f- and h- pawns simultaneously, which is impossible. So the BK came from g7. That is, we had: (BK at g7, WPs on a7-f7,g6,h7) Kh8; g7+. But then the BK on g7 wasn't in check, which won't do.
So, 47 is impossible too and 46 (as above) is best possible with the pawn-checks-first restriction.