Ray, you're a pretty sharp cookie. lol. I'm using ucvhost.com because they are cheap. Their equipment is in Bombay as is their support which can be EXTREMELY frustrating. I have found out that the mail server is hosted on another server and no they didn't set it up with ip restrictions to allow the mail transport to access it. I'm going to go into a little detail here that I know that you know but anyone else who doesn't won't have to research all of this.
Hosting companies typically require authentication for smtp server from outside clients because of the proliferation of spam. However in the case of a web application which is running on the same server or server farm as the smtp server the authentication is usually not required.
Php doesn't provide native authentication. It uses the mail() function with up to 5 arguments. The mail server isn't defined in the arguments. It is defined in the php.ini which is located on the hosting server and probably isn't available for edit. In my case php.ini defined smtp=localhost which of course wasn't the location of the server so it failed. And actually for clarity the mail() function just passes the mail to the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) which in turn communicates with the mail server.
The solution for me it appears would be one of three.
1. Pick a different host.
2. Convice ucvhost to properly set up the mail server as Ray suggested.
3. Use a different vehicle such as PEAR which is supported by universal email but requires that the host has installed the PEAR package.
Ray can you tell me what the "path to PEAR" parameter in UE should look like? Is this PEAR at localhost or should it be PEAR on the mail server? URL ok or does it need IP? or maybe localhost? Thanks for your help!