I'm whupped. I quit. I surrender. You won this round, Bill (although to be honest I think I did a fat-finger while cleaning out some duplicate files).
I wrestled with the XP missing profile thing for 3 days now. The network connectivity wasn't bothered so I was able to transfer email, pictures and other "irreplaceable" files to the XP machine I have in the garage "office". But I just couldn't seem to get that profile problem corrected.
So tomorrow I'm getting out the WMD and reformat this thing and reinstall the XP software back onto it. I'm using a Linux live CD right now to access the internet.
What a bummer...