well, I've finaly found the solution to my problems!

My properties file was totally mangled, I followed Petko's link and installed and very quickly started syncing. I wonder what I did to that properties file (lol), I was going off my head trying to find a solution, instead of just starting anew from scratch... I will definitely have to go and look to see what the problem was. Imagine all that time I wasted on the wrong approach to solving the problem, rather than just avoiding the problem which was my properties file which I "hacked", with a clean install... OI VEH!