If I understand this right, you have access to your directories when they are /home subdirectories, but not as /etc subdirectories. This is because your subdirectories tend to inherit the permissions of their parents, in this case, /etc. So, you have two options, open /etc for all to view (bad, bad idea), or pick another location. / itself should be fine, as long as you modify both the samba permissions, and the directory/user permissions to allow this.
There might be a different problem working here, but I think this is a good place to start.
Oh, and to start SWAT, you probably want something like https://127.0.0.1:901/
especially if you're on that machine at the time. https is the "secure" form of http, and 127.0.0.1 is the same as 'localhost', so you can even type localhost (or your computer's name) instead of the numbers. Of course, you should have SWAT installed as well.
Personally, I like webmin+swat, that way everythings in one spot.
Oops, that's what I get for not reading the whole thing, and checking my facts. http://localhost:901/
should work, provided it's installed and available. https://yourcomputernameoraddress:901/
is probably the best option over your network.