More comments, the above continues to occur despite a complete new reinstall; however, if I "preview" an article, the includes such as the category menu, search box, appear just fine on the previewed article page, but onb either the globalindex home page, or on any category that I click from the preview, they do not.
I'll post the answer in case any others have the same problem - it was with the server side includes and the host server, not the AM 2 software.
If you use Verio's VPS2 virtual server and are installing AM2 in a subhosted domain, you need to specifically enable SSI's with the instructions they post in their support doc 2506 at: http://www.verio.com/support/documents/view_article.cfm?doc_id=2506
Re: [bobw] problem solved
Glad to hear you got it figured out! Thanks for the tip!
Dave Edis - Senior Developer