After all that, once the iMac got going there was a very LOUD fan noise (no, not rah rah sis boom bah) which prompted Husband to call Apple to ask WTF .. they said bring it back.
Genius Bar Steve heard the noise, did a few things before telling us that it needed to stay to be looked at by a repair person. Since its a re-do he thinks it will be a faster fix/return.
Me? I was so not trusting that before we went back to Apple, I re-set up Husband's email on my laptop.