Another success story.
I've had a 'working' number all along, but my RTV either would not connect or would not complete the download, since late Jan. I had channels, a clock, and a blank Guide, so I've been doing manual records.
I put in another phone number for my general area, and the RTV connected to the mother ship, but failed to complete the download, so I changed back to my original number. This time it completed the download of phone numbers (all the same as before, BTW) and clock setting, and then walked me through the complete setup routine. (Make a note of all your settings, inputs, IR code, etc before you start this). Then the forced Net Connect completed successfully (using the same number that has failed for 2+ weeks), and the Guide is back!
My take is that a working number is not enough, and that one has to connect with RTV central and go through setup to right the ship. So if you have succeeded with a long distance number, it may be partly the process that did it, and it might work to go back to your local number, if it has been connecting.
Write back if you have success.