Now for the kicker... I went to add the .htaccess files, only to find out that the webhost has disabled the default DBM module... That was a good kick to the stomach. At this point I think we should try to contact them to turn that module on. The module file itself is there (I saw it on the server and assumed it was therefore available), but the Apache config is excluding it. All we need them to do is activate the mod_auth_dbm module of Apache and we'll be good to go. It's a quick single comment in the httpd.conf file, and a restart of the Apache server. Hopefully they will do it.
Does anybody know if its possible for DreamHost to do this?