So it would seem as if I broke Google Wallet as well, having not read anything about this issue prior to rooting with zedomax's thread in Development.
I had setup GW prior to root, got my free $10, added a Citi card, and setup a PIN. Never went out anywhere to test it, but it wall all stock.
After rooting, when asked for root permissions, I subconsciously hit "grant". And noted the error about GW not being supported on the device.
After reading a few posts about the error itself, some said it still works just fine, while others said to get rid of the error, clear all data and DENY root. There didn't seem to be a definitive, universal way to get rid of the error and confirm the software still works.
In my tinkering with clearing cache/data & removing SuperSU's permissions for GW root, I must've caused the problem.
I'm already set to get a replacement from Best Buy as soon as one if available. And odds are I won't touch GW until after there is some more solid, concrete documentation on how to set it up after root/recovery/rom installs w/o trashing the NFC chip.
Seeing the age of the phone as <3 days - how many people that had this issue feel it *wasn't* from flashing a new ROM?