OK - maybe I need to eat a little crow here: Looks like things are working properly with my new system overall. I'm even running the CPU OC'd at 4.2 GHz. Despite checking the Wi-fi connection numerous times, it indeed looks like this is actually a wi-fi issue and that I'm getting big delays at certain times from the router. I'm not sure why this is, but it may have to do with periodic interference from either my cordless phone, another laptop in the house, or perhaps even a neighbor. Sooo.... for those of you with this problem, I would really stress that you investigate your internet connection, as this looks like it could be the root of my de-sync issues. I'll report back later if this is NOT the case, but right now it's looking like it is.