Till, you're the king!
I put that or in one of the queries early on and I guess I never tried it in both. Adding the or email = '%u' on the user_query solved the problem. Whatever the reasoning, I don't know at this point. All I know is I'm able to send and receive like I should be able to...at least with the test account.
A little more testing with other accounts and I should be in business!
Thanks a lot again!!! I sure appreciate the help!