"Now we are so happy, we do the dance of joy!"- Balki Bartokomous
Ironically, the PC came back still infected, even after a full reformat and reinstallation that took two days to finish. So at around 11pm tonight, I rolled up my sleeves, pulled the kid gloves off, and dove into the old familiar realm of system language and MS-DOS.
Thanks to some judicious fiddling with those few search engines I could access, a HijackThis console, a Windows installation CD, some elbow grease and a lot of reboots... I finally managed to isolate the two- or three-odd pieces of adware and wipe them from the system. The fact that I've managed to log into Blogger for the first time in four days should be proof enough that I've won this battle; now I just have to monitor the PC for a while and hope that what I did was good enough to win the war.
I'm still getting the odd pop-up window, mind you (even in Mozilla Firefox, which testifies to the irritation factor here), but at least it's more manageable this time. And at least I can access Yahoo and Google like any normal person should be able to do.
Hopefully my current setup will be able to last me for at least this weekend. I don't get much surfing time to begin with, and I don't relish the thought of sacrificing it for the sake of some inconsiderate script kiddies who have nothing better to do with their time.