crisis averted, pending....
so i found a thread late last night on xda where a few were posting that the drivers djquick so lovingly posted for me (while pointing and laughing no doubt) (joking quick, i'd be doing the same thing) have a known problem with starting the device in dl mode on a Win7 system. Exactly my environment.
So this morning at work, on my XP box, loaded the drivers, booted to dl mode, and there she is, ODIN seeing her on Com3, and stock flash is running.
I have seen the light, and it is Galaxy S