Huge thanks for the replies, everyone.
Yeah, it's really gotta be an oil issue as many have suggested. That's what it sounds like, but the oil level has never changed from where it is now: right half way between the two lines on the sight glass, when it was new off the lot, and after the oil was changed at the 600 mile mark. Maybe the oil is just cooked. Or my oil pump is not working properly?
I'll post what I find out in hopes of helping some other poor bastard down the road.
Wish me luck!