All these answers are as by belief - they are not proofs and this is not meant to be taken as something I expect anyone to believe who does not already believe or may come to believe.
Who is doing the saving: No one but Jesus.
What power do they think they have that nobody else has: The power of God.
What makes them so important: Jesus is the Son of God.
No one confesses sins to a Priest but you can confess your sins through a Priest. Whether you confess you sins privately through a Priest or silently during a Service or Mass or in your prayers you are confessing this to God.
Forgiven by whom: As you say, only by God.
The Pope is elected by a Council including God, the Holy Spirit in line with the election of Matthias as the replacement for Judas (Acts 1:26).
The Pope is only as powerful in the same way as the CEO of public company or the elected leader of a government. Theologically he is Successor of St Peter who was asked by Jesus to look after his Church and people for him. One of his titles is the servant of the servants of God.
But the Pope isn't elected by God, he is elected by men.
The only one I need to confess to is God, but I really don't need to confess because he knows it all, already, one just needs to own up to it.
Somebody sprinkles water on the face, or dunks one in a river and thinks they are saved. To me that doesn't mean that they are saved. Jesus isn't saving me by having someone dunk my head.
Why does one feel the need to confess to a Priest, when all they really have to do is cut out the middle man and confess to God?
I am not Catholic, but I've been to a Catholic Church more than I've been to my family's Baptist Church. I went to Church with my neighborhood friends and their family every week. So I know just a little tiny bit about the Catholic Church.
I have my own relationship with the Lord, I don't need all these middle men telling me to confess or that I need to be saved by them. When I believe that the only person I have to go before is the Lord.
Just because 1 goes to Church, doesn't mean they are holier than those who don't.