The Mohammed cartoons are not consistent with his reputation among mainstream Muslims.
No it is, and if you have ever lived in an Arabic country or even visited one you would have noticed what prophet Muhammed means to them and you'd understand. The case is different when talking about an Arab society where prophet Muhammed means to them more than just a motto for Islam. As a matter of fact, parades and demonstrations were held against this act of insulting their prophet and presenting him in many bad figures. So, this is consistent with mainstream Muslims.
Jesus is the good guy who suffered.
And Muhammed is not? Muhammed has suffered a lot and it's enough that he was trying to convince his people to believe in Islam, his hijrah (emigrance) which was a very hard thing as he was trying to do it in the tough heat of the Arab sun where the average temprature is above 108°F in summer. Not to forget the bounty over his head that made everyone in the Arabian desert chace him. I know that you are talking about the crucifixion of Jesus and that it should not be considered by that, but don't forget that in Islam Jesus was not crucified from the beginning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus#Islamic_views
That means that for them Muhammed was the one who suffered most, and if it wasn't for God's help as he was the last prophet. Things might have been different, and he wouldn't have ever made such victories over the Arabs.