CtizenKane2, this beta patch has been the second one I've tried so far, and I can ensure you it does not in any way affect the proper updating of future patches. The betas are official betas that Stardock has released for the community to try out in a live environment. They're not some third party attempt to get things working.
In any case, Stardock has indicated plans to upgrade the current beta to an official release patch soon, so just hang in there. Also, I've tweaked my own router settings since I was wondering if I was the cause of the failure for you to connect to me. We can try establishing a connection tonight or any other time if you so wish. I'll just give you a poke if I see you online at any time.
mwdowns, if you don't mind, I'll take the liberty to add you to my friend's list too. The best thing I can do now to ensure enough good games is to remember everyone with whom I've had or can have lag free games with, regardless of nationality.