ok, yet another update.
after cleaning the plugwells of fluids and drying out the coils and plugs, re-seating the fuel injectors, and checking all connections again the car now seems to run properly (or really close) It's not running like a tractor anymore, it actually has power again.
however, the coolant leak is still present. not bad mind you, but there. it seeps a little, and if you drive it really hard you get some drops. I did however notice that there is some leakage coming from the top too (as opposed to just the underside of the thermostat housing).
so next on my list is to replace the upper radiator hose and clamp and to remove the thermostat cover, apply sealant, and then re-install.
with a lot of luck I may discover that what I'm seeing now is actually just seepage running down from either where the thermo cover mates to the thermo housing or from a tiny leak in the radiator hose where it meets the thermo cover.
I also paid close attention to the area around my plugwells after taking a drive. it's really hard to tell but I think I did see a tiny bit of "moisture" around them, but I wouldn't say it was really "wet".