Yep, it all checks out as you describe. I ended up just creating a new table and insert record from Data Assist to capture all the fields from the checkout page. I know this ends up creating some redundant data, but I'm OK with that.
I also has to remove the form action "confirm.php" that would direct the page to that page thus bypassing my insert and email scripts. But that had to ill effects on anything - all the cart items and data remained intact throughout the remainder of the process.
Just another example of a well designed extension that, intentionally or not, allow the user to customize it without interfering with its core functionality. Thank you and please express my gratitude to the developers.