resemblance to arguing with almost every girlfriend I have ever had.
^^^^ Thats your problem right there
Don't ever argue with any woman. Its just not a good idea. You will learn this when you get married....
Ok so in seriousness,
I have been spending the last 48 hours trying to fix this...
I went to an image I have -- a backup of the whole installation from Acronis that I performed perhaps 2 months ago (and which, btw, i forget to tell either of you earlier... so I do have an option better than a clean install for purposes of saving time--restoring that image would lower my re-install of all my apps by 70%.
So ..... have you tried reinstalling from this image?