The router was my prime suspect, but it seemed to be configured properly.
HOWEVER... just in case, I just re-ran the update.php and this time changed the admin port to 81 instead of 8080 and made the change in my router NAT tables, and surprise! It's working now.
Apparently, my router's 8080 port is being used somewhere higher up than the NAT tables, likely for it's own config, which is odd, cause that's not the port I config my router on.
I'll have to dig into the command line interface to find out whats commandering port 8080
thanks for your help!