I was very apprehensive about trying again after my previous issues but I figured what the heck and I'm glad I gave it another shot!
And it turns out I may have been correct in my assumption that the i3 would be fine for my use. So far so good and I've been pushing it harder than what my normal use would be just to make sure.
I do have a question though. Does the i3 handle RAM differently? On my previous i5 / 256 / 8 my RAM usage always hovered around 3GB used. On this i3 / 64 / 8 I am only using 1.6GB. Odd but I'll take it!