Thanks for the replies, but I am not using any front end(at this point), I like the console .
I have solved(?) my problems though(somewhat), I had installed R directly from the software packages. Instead this time, I added a mirror directly from their dedicated servers to the Software Sources list; then I simply reinstalled. Done!!
This kind of works in the sense that R at least starts, however, it gives me the following messages:
Everything I need works now, so I may or may not update this thread. For now, I am marking this as solved.
During startup - Warning messages:
1: Setting LC_CTYPE failed, using "C"
2: Setting LC_COLLATE failed, using "C"
3: Setting LC_TIME failed, using "C"
4: Setting LC_MESSAGES failed, using "C"
5: Setting LC_PAPER failed, using "C"
6: Setting LC_PAPER failed, using "C"
7: Setting LC_MEASUREMENT failed, using "C"