Well, I guess I should celebrate. It's been 24 hours and all appears to be well. Running MBAM in Safe Mode, even though it didn't detect any infections actually appears to have done the trick and the Antivirus Live fake infected program alerts are all gone and the hijacked IE browser (after fixing the TOOLS/INTERNET OPTIONS/CONNECTIONS/LAN SETTINGS (removed the proxy settings and re-checked the Automatically Detect Settings)) are all working fine.
I consider this done, resolved and closed. The resources available at this website really helped guide me through this.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that I won't have to come back here looking for more solutions. I'm really surprised this is actually gone...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
...Mike... over & out (I hope)