mortgage comparison question?

My husband and I found a house, been through the contract business, and have been approved through the builder’s lender.
Now I want to compare other lenders and their rates and closing costs.
Is it really even possible to get a decent comparison considering rates change so frequently and the good faith estimates are only …well… estimates of your closing costs?
should I be filling out full loan applications with each lender I want to compare or will pre-approval be enough for that?
Will we have to pay a fee for each loan application submitted even if we chose not to go with their offer?
Also what can you negotiate as far as rates and closing costs?

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