Thanks a lot for your ideas, I'm going to try them now.
The reality is that I bought this theme for use with this client. Only after purchasing it does the help file mention that there are a whole set of bugs from 6 months ago that have never been repaired.
To add to the damage the developer is one of those that is super helpful until you buy his material. He completely blew off 8 support requests after purchase, no response whatsoever. I was forced to file a paypal claim against him, for that he was around.
Bottom line...the coding in this template is absolutely horrible especially the PHP. The hooks into Wordpress are byzantine and in no way close to the documented way of doing it.
We have a launch in 2 days so I don't have time to perfect, I just need it to work for now..then later on I'll fix it up.
What happened with the slider is that he meddled with the original .js so I had to upgrade the script and that's where a lot of the issues are coming from, the carousel behaves differently now.
We're not going to support IE6 but if you have any pointers on any IE7 fixes I'd be very appreciative to hear them.