Thanks for the reply.
Upon fresh burn (because I honestly couldn't remember if I checked sums or not), and fresh install of /, same problem.
root@1[user]# init 3
is what I see in console. I looked at /etc/inittab and just saw general information (to me), and nothing that looked like it might cause a problem, but I'm a newb.
Not sure where to go from here.
EDIT: Ok, I found out that I can change runlevels from init 3, but not from init 5. In init 5, I logged in as root just as above in a console and changed to init 1. From there I was able to change to 3, and back to 5, but for some reason I can't go from 5 to 3 directly.