Just a quick note for ya Mike...
I had a very similar problem and was unable to solve it for a bit.. Turns out I had the Klez virus!
You can get a free fix for it at www.symantec.com
it's called FixKlez.com and it worked like a charm for me! (I had no idea I had it until it killed my anitivirus program and firewall and other things!)
Just thought that info could possibly help...
Did someone say get technical help at the official forums? When pigs fly.
(haven't had much luck there.)
P.S. The Avon Lady's website has a bunch of tips that are much more useful than the official forums... IMO..