After months of mostly ignoring my little CupCakeStrap, and tending to things in my life like gainful employment, education and whatnot, and I've restored the printing ability to the bot!
Many things have been changed, but the important ones are all I will recount for now. I've swapped out my never-really-worked mk4.5 extruder for Makergear's terrific Stepper Extruder, and suddenly everything "just works." I can dial in the worst settings ever, and as long as the temperature is about right, it prints. The clear PLA I got is no longer sitting unused, instead I have printed a good ounce of it into testing cubes, ipad stands, reprap power rings, and assorted do-dads. Now I'm focusing on tuning the profile, based on help over on #makergear and #reprap. Pictures to be posted soon.