blogs.dir images not appearing and article links 404

After reading all the praise for futurehosting.com here and elsewhere, I decided to go with them for my VPS.

A few weeks troubleshooting the myriad of niggling issues that occur with such moves, I have come across a real show stopper:

It starts with blogs.dir not being accessible to either from the subdomain nor mapped domain. None of the images and files in blogs.dir display for *any* account. I tried to copy out custom headers as a temporary kludge, which works.

After requesting opening my last ticket with FH, the front page displays (minus images in blogs.dir) but links to posts are 404 and the error doc no longer works. I'm stumped and so are the FH admins. FYI folder permissions are 755 and files are 644 all the way through. Images outside the blogs.dir appear as expected when linked as do embedded videos. I can upload new images just fine from the media library or ftp, they just won't appear even in admin media library views.

I'm not sure if this is related, but I hadn't seen it before: It seems that a number of the admins from different blogs appear as users of the primary blog with no role.

Before I blow away my test site (and the past weeks of blog updates from my beta users) and attempt to re-migrate the site from the original (working just fine thank you) site, does anyone have any ideas?

Examples:
[links removed]