I mentioned earlier I think that I'm back to successfully using my Nvidia card with proprietary drivers - but for one issue. If I started Amarok (which would start - loaded to the tray) and then try to restore the gui to the desktop, my system would completely lock up. No keyboard input would be accepted at all. I had to hard power it down and restart.
Being the middle aged genius that I am - I started amarok from the command line and piped the error output to a file. That gave me something to google and took me to https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=323635 which gave me the solution.
As soon as I saw OpenGL was involved I knew this would make me happy. I can't get my system config to switch the compositing type away from XRender. Trying to check the OpenGL settings for the card throws an error - so it's some kind of driver problem I'm sure.
I just had to follow the directions there and disable the analyzer in Amarok in the file they mention. I don't know what the analyzer is or what it does - but things seem just fine without it so I'm cool. Though I like Clementine which I was using instead as it had no problems. So I exported my playlists from Amarok to something I could open in Clementine and I may just make the jump.
Either way - kind of cool, what search can do.