I think I'm inching closer to solving my overall posts navigation problem. This might be the key!
I have created a page in the root WP directory (as opposed to the Themes folder) that brings up posts from a specific category. So far I have been able to get the posts to output correctly. I'm using a " query_posts('cat=3') " to restrict the posts to output from category 3, and as much as I'd like to restrict the posts using '&showposts=4', I'm letting WP handle this from the admin panel to reduce the amount of variables to solve.
<?php query_posts('cat=3'); ?>
<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<?php endwhile; ?>
<div class="alignleft"><?php posts_nav_link('','','« Previous Entries') ?></div>
<div class="alignright"><?php posts_nav_link('','Next Entries »','') ?></div>
Four most recent posts from category 3 only are displayed, which is the desired effect.
Selecting 'Previous Entries', or specifically ?paged=2, renders the same four posts when ?paged=1 is called.
If anyone has tips, it'd be greatly appreciated.
*** While I'm still struggling to figure this out, others have benefitted from my continual woes. If you've come upon this post with a similar problem, you maybe able to find a solution at the following threads: