I'm leaving this post for reference, but everything is working now! It all came down to my ftp client not uploading some of the files in ascii that had to be. Specifically, the schema dir and file. And I'm guessing that some of the permissions were not set properly as well.
I can connect via phpMyAdmin and I've checked the password as well. I've set all permissions to 755 (through my ftp client, I wasn't allowed to from command line).
I just don't seem to be pointing at the database at all. Here's what I've set
I also uncommented the following
BTW, mt-check.cgi reports back that everything is OK to continue.
OK, I reset the user and password. One step forward...I seem to be connecting to the DB, but...two steps back...now I'm getting the following...
Loading initial data into system...
Loading database schema...
An error occurred while loading data:
Query was empty at mt-load.cgi line 54.
Thanks to all