Thanks again to UMR for the detailed steps, and the rest of you for your thoughts as well. Doing the SM adjustments was not nearly as intimidating as I had feared. Things definitely look better, but have a couple of questions.
1) I was using the THX Optimizer on Finding Nemo (don't have Avia). For the Sharpness adjustments, this is the test they referred to as Monitor Performance, correct? If so, can someone pls help me understand a little better what "ideal" is? The description on the screen was not clear enough for me. What is "edgy" vs. "overly-enhanced"? I went up and down the range from 0 to 63 on USHP, and had myself convinced of multiple different settings!
2) Though not part of the UMR's step-by-step tweaks for newbies, I noticed that when I went through the THX tests for 4x3 and 16x9 aspect ratio set-ups that the left edge of the outer box was just off the screen (actually, very slight amount of the top left edge was barely visible) on both tests. Looked like there was some room to spare on the right side. Does this mean I need to shift my image to the right? Do I do that in the MID1 category, using DHPH? I saw these mentioned in UMR's original post, but there was also a warning, so I'm a little nervous to experiment.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.