I did testing today and I think I isolated the problem ... I ripped out the entire form from checkout.php and removed all the form item validations ($WAFV_Errors .= WAValidateRQ) from confirm_cart.php and the checkout page "worked" ... I didn't get any fail errors on submitting an empty form on checkout.php which directed to a page to confirm the order then it went to a success order page (without billing information, only cart data)
It would appear the form on checkout.php that eCart Checkout Wizard creates is the problem - note: the errors only come up when the street field and any field below it are entered.
A localhost config problem? I doubt it. My next step is to try to find out where exactly the problem is in the form.
Any advice/suggestion on debugging would be appreciated.