Hoods rock. Thanks to your insight and suggestions, I started the rewrites (again) yesturday in a new spot in the story, keeping the conflict external for a bit, and am amazed at how much I can keep from the original (if I want too, that is). I was able to produce a prologue and a couple of pages of the first chapter yesturday. Pretty flipping awesome!
Something else I've noticed. The 'rules' that apply to romance do NOT necessarily work for all other genres, as one example: hero and heroine meeting in first 5pages. That is what I had started with and that wasn't the best choice for this story. Once I moved it to toward the back a bit (not too far, I mean I DID keep the stuff I've already written) it felt 'right'.