Hey thanks everyone for the responses - sorry I've been inactive; busy with work yada yada. So, a couple of follow-ups.
I'm fully prepared to root; this is not my first catastrophic crash using the SD install. So is the preferred method to root completely using the link you provided? I will try it that way, but I really like the idea of keeping the Nook OS intact, as that still functions perfectly when I remove the SD card. I'm always wary of a full root, as I should be.
Also, the update blocking thing is something I should've known. Thanks a ton for that info.
So, where is the "official unofficial" hosting for the Nook Tablet CM, updates, etc? Is it just somewhere in these forums? I read something about an active IRC channel but never found it.