My quest for getting offline files to behave in the way I would like them to behave continues. Now that I have my laptop back, I dumped the old one and started to use the real system again . One thing I did during the time I was running on backup was to add new files into a folder that is marked for offline synchronization. Now, when replicating again with the new system, I recieved an error message for each of those files, telling me that the respective file was not available. Yet, on the server it is available. Strange.
If you know what causes this behavior and/or have a solution, PLEASE drop me a note at email@example.com. Thanks!
 BTW: the Toshiba warranty repair was outstanding. They had a turnaround time of 5 work days (including shipping) and they did not reinstall the system.