"When I start the btdownloadcurses or overnet command line client and doing a ps, I can see multiple instances of the process in the process list. Each process has it's own unique pid, but otherwise they are identical. Starting one bt-client usually gives me 2 processes now, and overnet always starts 3 processes."
I am not sure what btdownloadcurses and overnet command line client are. If they are ftp clients then I have the explanation. It is very common for ftp clients to run as multiple processes because this speeds up the download somewhat.
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.