i wish the issue was straight forward enough to lay out for you, but if you asked me what the problem was, the best answer would be "all of them"
after getting a "no problem" reaction from anti-malware and spybot, both in safemode, i go to boot normally only to have the computer hang at "loading your personal settings". i let it run for an hour or so while i went out, and the message and processing remained when i got back. not frozen, just still working. after a reboot, i was able to get back into windows, so i started running AVG anti-virus. this is right now. two minutes into the scan, and it's already found 22 threats, the majority of which list the infection as "trojan horse PSW.Generic8.AEYT". i'm letting the scan complete, but after seeing all these new issues, i threw my hands up in the air and re-registered here to let the experts hack away.
all that said, im not sure any of the above is helpful, and would gladly start any recommended process from scratch. direct me as you see fit!
Edited by Andrew, 03 November 2010 - 10:10 PM.
Mod Edit: Moved To AII - AA