No responses from Adafruit at this point? Hmm. Also, the http://www.adafruit.com/contact
page/form does not seem to work on either (FF, IE, iPad, nor iPhone) browser for direct contact either.
Looks like returns on kits (starter kits too?) must happen within 14 days ... guess I'm potentially out $$ on this one. I certainly don't know what other people are doing with theirs Raspis but I'm not so sure why it has become so popular with this kind of an issue.
I'll look into Beagle Bone boards as being more reliable but at this point I'm too discouraged to try another one at the moment.