Ok....did a fresh install from the CD, still messed up patching. Ran the SWTOR_setup download and used the repair tool on it which finally worked. I can get in and see all my characters now.
But that's all.
Now, after I pick a toon to log in on, I get the loading screen, it gets to about 20% and then crashes and goes to the desktop. No error log or anything pops up. Just POOF!
beyond irritated now.