From the Go Figure Dept:
I was getting annoyed at the level of service the dongle was providing following the protracted install. It wasn't near as good as it used to be before I tried to replace it with the later, supposedly better Realtek jobbie. Big Mumbles! So I decided to redo the install. What could possibly go wrong, I thought. So I removed it with Configure>>Remove Connection. Yep, gone. Rebooted, and it installed automagically. Removed it again. Reboot. It reinstalled itself again. But the interesting part is, it now honks along! Sat here in the dining room 10 yards and two walls from the router, signal strength is 34% instead of 12% prior to the removal, and beside the router signal is 98%. Pages load in a fraction of the time. Whatever was choking it has gone. Go figure.
Again thank you Forum for your willing and invaluable help. I'd be lost without you.