I worked on this thing again last night. I removed the cheapy flex pipe and replaced it with semi-rigid. Before I did that, though, I shoved my arm into the vent to see if I could feel anything and about cut my hand off from a sawzall blade sticking up through the seem of the vent. Nice!
So I pushed the sawzall blade down through the vent and let it fall into the crawlspace, installed the new vent pipe and ran the dryer...still same problem. So...down into the crawlspace I went. I checked out the vent and found it had gotten disconnected, of course at the one place where there were so many pipes in the way I had to be a circus contorsionist to work on it. So after about 1 1/2 hours of bending in un-natural ways and cussing enough to make a truck driver blush, I managed to get the vent reconnected. Went to check the dryer again, thinking I had FINALLY solved the issue. This time, I put my GL4x4 sweatshirt in there (odd that this is what I had to test the dryer), since it was damp from the wash earlier in the day and fired up the dryer. The "Check Vent" light came on AGAIN, but it seems to actually be heating up properly now. Granted...I only put one damp sweatshirt in there. My wife is going to run a full load through today and see what happens...that will be the real test.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, but to be honest I am done with this stupid dryer and am throwing in the proverbial towel. I have wasted enough time, energy, and good cuss words (usually reserved for the Jeep) at this point. If it is still not working, I am calling an appliance repair guy/gal. Any reccommendations on a good one in the Saginaw/St Charles/Hemlock area?