Thank you all for these answers. As I approach the allotted time for my re entrance into the OC, certain doubts and fears, no doubt due to my own fallible human weakness have crept in. What better place to get them off my chest then on an Orthodox message board.
It still bothers me that Orthodoxy has only recently begun to make an impact here in North America and that the only places on Earth where the Church is well known are those countries which she is the majority religion (As opposed to the RCC which is everywhere in the world to a certain extent).
That's largely the result of cultural/political history. If you look at any significant missionary effort after Justinian, it came from an (imperial) cultural/political position of strength (for the Orthodox, Cyril & Methodios; for the Roman Catholics, the Germans amongst the West Slavic tribes, the Portuguese throughout their Empire, the Spanish throughout their theirs, even the French, etc.). It just so happened that most of the Western European Empires flourished at a time of greater navigation-related technology, so they built truly massive colonies in Africa, Central America, South America, North America, Southeast Asia, etc -- literally all of the areas that were converted to Roman Catholicism in the 15th through 19th centuries. Before those Empires, Rome's influence was quite small in geography and numbers. At times, it was even confined to the upper part of the Italian & Iberian peninsulas, with only parts of modern-day Germany and France.
Anyway, it just so happened that those essential centuries -- the 15th through the 19th -- wherein Roman Catholic Empires exploded worldwide, were precisely the same centuries where the ancient Orthodox lands fell under total Muslim oppression. Christians in Eastern Europe and the Middle East did the dying, while those in the West did the conquering. The only exception, of course, was the Russian Empire, which expanded tremendously -- quite to the concern of the Roman Catholic Empires. If you read German, French, or British newspapers in the 19th century, for example, they were quite worried about the lumbering, gigantic menace from the East (much like we are now concerned that China and/or India will overtake us in technological, military, and scientific areas). But even that one Orthodox Empire (compared to four very powerful Roman Catholic and one Protestant one) soon fell and experienced equal persecution and destruction.
If you lived before the Muslim invasions, you'd be wondering the exact same things about that Roman Bishop, the majority of whose canonical territory was filled with uncooth, Arian barbarians.