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I flipped through them all and didn't notice any unusual characters in the names.  

Hm. Try putting your project in a directory closer to the root of a drive (so c:\projectname or something), see if that helps.

Alright, I reimported all the material and props again into a project folder in the root.  [c:/project].  Same problem.

I hate to bother you about this, but have you any other ideas?