Eventually, I just said, "Heck with it!" and wrote a workaround this afternoon -- and it works! Woohoo!
And then, I discover the reaston that the nested loops were behaving erratically is: a bug in the current version of Cold Fusion.
D'Ooooh! *forehead slap*
Anyway, I've drop-kicked that particular problem and I gotta admit, I'm kinda pleased about it. So, yay, me!
Now, back to work! (D'Oh!)