Okay Jason, Great, I got it to work, but only after removing 'unique' from the email field in the database table. The table continues to refuse duplicate emails (which is what I want), and will now allow me to enter blank emails (which is also what I want). I'm not clear on the logic behind the adjusted code you gave me, but it works and I think an explanation can be left for another day.
So just to recap, am I right in saying that you don't have to make the field in the mysql table 'unique' in order to prevent duplicate entries as long as you use the Web Assist server validation called 'unique database value'?
And would I also be correct in saying that, you, would make the field unique, if you 'required' a unique email from your users or is there any point at all in making a field unique in a mysql database?