Ok, so running that I see Hardware Interrupts bumping up past everything and sucking down 15-45% of CPU time....sometimes. When it's happening, DOSbox runs like doodie. When it doesn't happen, DOSbox runs smooth as a baby's ass (in and out of game).
More often than not, the hardware interrupts are running as soon as I fire up DOSbox (like, there's only been a small handful of times when they weren't).
If I manually set the cycles to max, timesynched to on, and core to auto in the GUI after firing up DOSbox then it runs ok, though at that point it's sucking up over half of my CPU....no telling if it'll still be "ok" when I try to play a more demanding game than Duke Nukum or Raptor... I'd do more performance testing, but at this point I'm honestly happy that I can just play Duke Nukum reliably for the time being.
Thinking that it just might still be driver related, I went ahead and reinstalling my graphics and sound card drivers with the latest versions. Figured it was worth a shot but it didn't change anything. I'm teh stumped.