Thank you both for your quick input. As you can imagine, I'm tempted to tour Colorado and track Rick down and tar-and-feather him for putting me in this position. Had I known that putting the RC on my computer would make it hard to go to a full normal upgrade to 7 later, I never would have agreed! I'll try to answer both of your questions.
1) I just checked the hard drive and there's no D: drive on it so that is out. Amongst a pile of disks he left me, there IS one that has Windows Enterprise handwritten on it and another that he wrote Windows 7 on. I'm guessing that the latter is the RC which won't do me any good. Not sure how I'd know if the Windows Enterprise DVD is truly made from my computer or if it's just something he had and left behind. It's probably made from my computer (he commented that they don't send DVDs anymore...that they put it on your computer and it's up to you to offload them, so that may well be it). But loading that would undo all the work that's been put into the computer, I take it.
2) As it is a handwritten DVD, even if it IS from my laptop, I'm not sure how I would know what the key would be. Would it be on the DVD itself somewhere as a txt file or something?
3) If I'm understanding Gregrocker, he says that if I buy any Window7 edition, there's a "workaround" to do an upgrade that will not destroy everything Rick set up for me and which I've customized since then, but I'm not sure what you mean by a workaround. will this be some sort of prompt that will come up asking me if I want to start from scratch vs. upgrade what's on there? Or are you talking about something more complicated than that?
4) Is there a reason you're recommending Home Premium over Ultimate, which is what the RC version I have is? I have no idea what the difference is. On eBay, I'm seeing anything from a 20 to 80 dollar difference, but I'm not sure why one would opt for more than Home Premium. Right now, I can see Home Premium at a Buy-It-Now price of $105 and there's an Ultimate for $125 (but the next one up is $180, so I may miss the boat on that while writing to you both).
5) There are SO many stickers on the bottom of the PC that I'm not sure which Greg means! One is from Toshiba with the part and serial number. Another is says "WiFi Certified" and has a code number starting with PA3613". Yet another says "Windows Vista Home Basic OEMAct TOSHIBA" and that has three different code numbers on it, including a product key with five five-character sections for 25 altogether. The last small sticker was LAN MAC and WirelessMac on it, but i don't get what that would be since this is NOT a Mac of any sort (unless this MAC stands for something else).
Right now, I'm on the fence with what you each say. If it's not TOO hard to upgrade without losing everything I've got on the laptop already, it would probably be worth $120 or so just to make it fully legit without going through Vista again and losing everything...providing it really isn't SO hard to do and it really is built into any Windows 7 that I buy. Just SUCKS that I should have to pay for it just for having tried out the RC. Is the rest of the world losing their software when they go from Vista to 7...or just us idiots who didn't know not to use the RC? ;-)