I did something wrong right from the start.
When I downloaded Nvidia Inspector I moved the .exe file to my desktop and ran it from there. All my settings and options within Nividia Inspector were detailed in my first post.
Today I spent several hours trying every combination of driver version and yadda, yadda, yadda.
Then for some reason I downloaded Nvidia Inspector again and unzipped it and moved the entire folder to my desktop. I double clicked the .exe file from inside the folder and the skies opened the heavens cried and I have a set of settings and such that looks exactly like all the screenshots I see and the instructions I've read so many times.
Just to be clear;
STEP instructs this:
Download Nvidia Inspector. This is a portable program and requires no installation. Simply place in a convenient location and create a shortcut to the executable.
I was supposed to place the whole folder with all the files (.exe, .xml, etc) placed in a convenient location. There's even a conveniently provided shortcut in the folder right there.
Boy do I feel dumb. I'm so sorry. And, I'm sorry I started something. Please forgive me. And, thanks for the help. STEP is a special place you all should be proud of yourselves.