joble - yes - i checked that account setting.
rudge - i connect to a hosted domain. my ISP is not the hosting service. this was not a problem with TBird 2.X and i can get the mail but not automatically on startup. i suspect the problem is related to the new setup "wizard" and the fact that my e-mail - email@example.com-
doesn't match the server - pop.differentdomain.com. The new "wizard" automatically creates a non-existent pop3 server and won't let me edit it. i finally found a way to create an account manually that works an all respects except the one i started this thread about. Perhaps TBird is going to the nonexistent server on startup and timing out?
I am going to trash my .thunderbird file tomorrow and and start over. i have an idea for fooling the "wizard" if i can't set it up manually.