After 24 days with no high-speed Internet access (and no end in sight), I finally decided that throwing money at the problem is a more acceptible solution that doing the daily call-in to Earthlink. (Yes, I know all the reasonable reasons why that's not the best option; this has progressed far beyond a reasonable situation. So, fine, throwing money at installs and paying higher rates for service is better than wasting my time on support calls and still getting no service. It's a harsh world, and sometimes life sucks.) So, we're signed up to get Comcast. Someone will be by tomorrow to drop off all the equipment. Yay, next-day service.
The person who took my order, her name was Jeanne. I consider it to be A Sign.