Such a delight to read well informed, explicit yet easy to understand comments on the forum discussion actually posted (as opposed to the many side tracks). I intend to follow up your remarks. I particularly appreciate your comment about researching what the programs actually do, since I totally believe the only way to really resove a problem (any problem) is to firstly understand it.
Finally, have you tried the free software (on download.com) called Process Explorer from Sysinternals? It comes highly recommended by Download.com & I am giving it serious consideration. The program "replaces and enhances" Task Manager.