upon closer examination.

i've narrowed it back to the router.

i didn't suspect it was the router because it
connected fine from another computer.

it turns out, when it connected to the other computer
the router created a new empty "application" firewall profile.

there was a secondary global firewall in place though
that was allowing it.

the application firewall for my first computer had the
SSL port forwarded though. Which ordinarily, should have
allowed it through... its not until I remove the
application firewall rule, that the secondary firewall
allows it to 'fully' connect.

i've noticed the router has been taking increasingly longer
to synchronize its 'power' status, so this might be a good
indicator its ready to check out. (ie expire)

so... mystery solved.