CWuestefeld, I really enjoyed your report of your travails (self-inflicted, but still :-). Funny and informative.
I clicked on something by mistake the other week, and spent the better part of two days to route a browser hijacker, using AdwCleander, Malwarebytes, Hitman and JRT. They did the job, but what an ordeal.
Since it is the first time it has ever happened to me (I have probably forgotten one or two), I can vouch for being careful. You get what you pay for!