I have read the Factory reset suggestions but, my phone won't even let me pull up a menu. What do I do if I can't get it past the FC loop from hell? (other than chucking the phone out the window - which I'm tempted to do)
You can certainly try the safe mode suggestion above. Sadly more than likely you will have to complete a factory reset which will remove your personal data.
I would try reaching safe mode and confirm you have backups of the items you care about.
If you can't get that far or have confirmed backups then the next thing to try is a factory reset from the boot menu.
I would power down the phone and remove my SD Card.
I had to do this when my twlauncher was force closing on my fascinate after receiving an update.