Got everything taken care of last night and took possession of the gun at the FFL's shop. His business partner was holding down the fort in his absence.
The approval came through after my usual delay (this always happens to me w/ long guns). Then, I think my transfer just fell off the radar. Wish the communication had been better (not sure it could have been much worse), but I don't think what happened was intentional.
Having said that, lesson learned. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."