However it seems that the printer-friendly article version does not show the initial post made at the start of the thread.
So okay it's a semi-brilliant idea that still needs some tweaking.
The computer is back up and running... seems to be good so far although I did have a bit of a fiasco getting past the "Initializing USB Controllers .." message upon startup of the system during one reboot. After I unplugged all USB devices that weren't currently installed it seemed to work okay. Then the computer completely reset itself when I plugged in my GH III guitar controller after installing the game. Dunno what the hell that was all about. At least my display drivers stay intact each time I reboot.
I suppose, in retrospect, that I could have managed to pull through my previous troubles with System Restore, but I always forget that the damn thing is there.