I checked my junk mail repeatedly.
I did wind up finding a workaround, after doing some Google research. I wound up discovering the problem was due to my two AppleID's being very similar - "Doubleoh" and "Doubleoh@gmail.com."
That's it. That was the big hangup. So I went in to the one I didn't want to use anymore and changed both the email address and password, got iCloud to resend the verification email to this new email address, then went back in to reverse/merge the AppleID to the email address I wanted it associated with for iCloud, iTunes, and the App store. Voila, done.
iTunes is good. App store is good. iCloud is set up, and I was able to sync my Google Calendar with iCal fairly easily (I was not aware I could do this without the iCloud; the instruction my friend at work gave me was to simply export my calendar from Google and then simply import it to iCal. Either way, I had been meaning to set up my iCloud account anyway, so I could activate "Find my Mac" and "Find my iPhone" apps as well.)
The only problem now is that I wanted to post the workaround I found that solved all these issues for me to the Apple Community Support forums, but the fucking site won't let me log in. It recognizes my username/email address and new password, but it won't let me access my old account. It just tells me to "create another username." So, I tried. I figure, fine whatever... except once I did, the site came back with "You already have a username registered with this account and may only have one." -- effectively, I can't access my existing account name, but I also can't create a new one. Fucking infuriating how difficult this entire process has been.
That said, everything else is set up and operating properly, I just can't access the Apple forums.