The winner is....drum roll...MT Stringer!! I stepped out to the single digit shop, tried tapping the driver in farther--no. Tried tapping the sides--no. Neither had worked before, those were the first two things i tried on Saturday (or Sunday?). So, i gripped the blue thing that slides back with a pair of vise grips, stood it on end, 2 or 3 raps with a mallet--loose. I'd not say it's ruined, but there are a few ridges that need to be filed down. Definitely salvaged the bit.
Stick, i fully agree. I've contacted Kreg twice now, neither time of their doing, both times they sent me items that i would have felt justified in buying. The first was small hardware from a miter gauge that i had been given by a widow. I was kind of frustrated because i scoured their web site looking for replacement parts--couldn't find a price list or how to purchase. After about a week, i e-mailed and got an almost immediately got a response asking for my address so they could send the items.
Given my experience and some i've heard from others regarding Kreg's penchant for providing service--makes me wonder about their termination of the rep agreement for a power tool line last year. No condemnation of the respected line of tools, just makes me wonder a bit.
Thanks for all Y'all's help!!