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Firefox woes with .onion and proxies

This is more of a firefox issue than tor, but I am hoping someone has run into this and knows what I am seeing.

Firefox/torbutton/tor has me about to rip hair out. I have used tor for a while, kicked around a location hidden service. Decided I wanted to experiment some more.

A while back I setup a second firefox profile just for tor, and recently installed torbutton instead of "leaving it naked". Now I am quite unamused.

If I connect to my proxy (either privoxy or polipo) I can issue a head command for my onion address. I get a proper response indicating the webserver that I am running. Good to go.

Now I fire up firefox. If I use torbutton in default config, I can get to google, verify that my IP is not my own etc. If I go to vidalia and select a new identity, I get a new IP and usually, google in a new language. Awesome. Now, I put in my onion address.... and firefox dutifully adds a "www." before it, and immediately times out.

Then I go into the torbutton config. I turn off all proxies except the socks proxy on 9050. Now I can browse the web AND connect to my hidden service.
However, after a few requests, firefox starts reporting that the URL being loaded is of a bin type and needs to be handled by an external program. I allow it, and it brings up the download manager, with no new file listed but "all downloads completed". This persists until I restart firefox.

If I go to the webapp that I am playing with, and get redirected to another URL on the same site, it loads does the same dance, but does it every time.

Has anyone seen behavior like this? I am stumped.

Even if I turn off torbutton, it does this, so I suspect its a firefox version or config issue.