Hi Guys, thanks for your help. First off, I am using a shared server at HostGator so the IP address is http://gator758.hostgator.com/~nanacece
WordPress files were intalled in the public_html folder under that.
There is no .htaccess file visible either in the root or public_html. I will have to find out from HostGator if they even allow me to edit .htaccess. I have run into this in the past where the host is so freaked out about the possibility of someone screwing something up they don't allow access to .htaccess. I was planning on using it for redirects once things are up and running.
I did find an article at http://kozacommunications.com/kc/2009/12/19/viewing-wordpress-site-before-dns-resolves/ that recommends changing the URL and home entries in the database which I have done and it worked. I was able to install the PageLines theme and add some content, so I should be able to get things to the point that we can go live.
However, as I understand it, this will mean changing permalinks once I change DNS, something I'm not looking forward to. (If Update URLs works like it should it shouldn't be too bad.)
So, would you suggest going forward from here and changing permalinks, or starting over with a manual install? Would the manual install have overcome the problem altogether? We only have a couple dozen pages at most, so I'm probably making a bigger deal about updating permalinks than it really is.