Like others posting before, flashing to the stock rooted 4.4 Ota rom restored everything to normal, but trying to go back to gummy rom or Viper jacked everything up. I would be able to receive one or two sms, one of two mms, and then nothing else until I wiped cache and rebooted. This actually only worked intermittently, sometimes bringing on the recurring multiple previous delivered message issue. I had accepted my fate, my DNA forever doomed to a stock rom, but was experiencing the horrible sensitivity issue with the capacitive buttons (gag).
Anyway, I gave it one last ditch effort to try to fix the text problem (and ditch the stock rom and the button sensitivity crap) and seem to have stumbled upon something that actually has worked for me. I'm freaked that one small mistake could throw me back into the text problems, but for now, I'm running a fully functional Viper 4.1 without any of the aforementioned issues. If there are those out there still looking for a fix (and not a new phone, like I was considering for a while) let me know with a post in this thread and i'll do my best to explain what I did and why. I am a long time user and have no technical explanation for why it worked, but it did.
My rationale (flawed or not) was to try to get the "lock" from vzw that allows text messages to be sent from the stock rom and transfer it to a custom rom. I figured that possibly when a phone is activated or new rom flashed or when caches are wiped, possibly the custom rom information is sent at that time to vzw and they then activate the cripple on messaging. SO, I did the following to try to get around that possibility:
0. Pull sim card
1. full wipe (cache, davlik, system) and flash of the stock rom
a. reboot system
2. First boot of Stock Rom: skip all adding of accounts, wifi etc.
3. reboot to system
4. after system completely booted, add sim card
5. test sms, mms, group messaging (thereby acquiring "lock" or permission from vzw to text)
a. I sent a ton. just to confirm all was working well. my wifes phone now has a billion random texts from me. i also opened up a text plus account (app on play) to allow testing of sent and received sms.
6. reboot to system
7. test again
a. after testing confirmed, reboot to recovery and PULL sim card
8. DO NOT WIPE CACHE OR DAVLIK OR ANYTHING and install custom rom (Viper for me)
9. after flash in recovery, DO NOT WIPE
10. First boot to custom rom: skip all adding of accounts, wifi etc.
a. system will be wonky, possibly not even boot due to lack of wipe. i may have been able to get away with this because i flashed from sense rom to sense rom. I've not tested this with any cm-based roms, only viper 4.1.0
b. as before skip all adding of accounts or wifi (NO CONNECTION WITH vzw during initial boot - this could be KEY)
c. REBOOT TO SYSTEM, and add sim card
11. test sms, mms, group messaging
a. i was beyond stoked to see that messaging worked. still does work. confirmed with multiple (over the last 24 hours now) sms, mms, group messaging.
b. my keyboard was totally non-functional and it only gave me option to type with voice or send emojii (used google hangouts for all my testing)
c. despite function of messaging, the whole installation was totally unstable due to lack of wipe. soooooooo....
12. reboot to system
13. test again
14. reboot to recovery
15. DO NOT WIPE CACHE OR DAVLIK, perform a "Factory Reset" under the wipe menu
16. reboot to system - cry tears of joy if you now have a bugless, functional custom rom that can message again.
I know there are likely redundancies in my methodology, and i dont know if my theory is in fact what has made this work for me now when everything else failed before, but, fact remains that it worked (is working) for me. I am very hopeful this is at least a way around the problem for those that have been plagued with it as I have.
I'll keep everyone posted with whether or not this sticks forever (i'm only about 24 hours deep), and of any other developments as I likely get stupid/courageous enough to perform additional wipes, etc. Anyone else that has dealt with this issue, your feedback (hopefully successes) and thoughts on the issue are very much welcome. Let's kick this thing.