Ahhh... I've missed this thread.
I wonder what has happened in the research on these matters in the intervening months since this thread was abandoned. (It seems that the thread-starter and greatest advocate of these theories has been banned... so it's unlikely we'll get any kind of answer.)
I re-read this one today,.. with all the extra perspective of the world economy currently in near free-fall... and the fact that Space Exploration is probably destined to take a bit of a back seat for a few years until the world governments can shore up the hemorrhaging financial markets.
It seems to me that we have almost certainly added several years (if not decades...) to being able to fund the kind of manned exploration of even our own solar system that it would take to prepare for any kind of mass colonization of the stars.
Reality strikes again...