Just wanted to update y'all, and add my appreciation for all of the great suggestions for getting my iPhone back to a fully-functional state.
The best advice came from the daughter of one of my high school buddies...She used to work for Apple, and suggested making an appointment with a "Genius" at the local Apple Store. (We have one of those just 30 minutes away, so that's an easy mission.) If I make it clear that this is a software issue, not a "Sorry, gotta charge you big bucks to fix this" hardware problem, they should take care of me, gratis. Thanks, Nanelle! (And thanks, FreqGod!)
By the way, the patch that Apple released to help mitigate some of the iOS 6.1 insanity is for iPhone 4S only...and since I have an iPhone 4, it won't work.
All in all, everyone's good ideas (You are all "Geniuses" in my book!) saved me from applying my own "patch"...made of C-4. Any solution not involving a loud detonation will keep my Spousal Unit and neighbors happy, not to mention the local gendarmes.