That's a scary story, Banjo. It's a good thing that you have it documented here, so others will know how to fix the problem if it happens to them. Actually, it is good to know that it is fixable via the typical uninstall/reinstall, etc, etc route. A lot of times things are not so easily (or actually not easily) remedied.
As far as ADE, it is astounding to me that a company like Adobe can be the big dog in image manipulation software (Photoshop) and other software too (Acrobat, Illustrator), and yet their software is often really awful and almost always quirky and strange, IMHO.