So I started going down the path that the problem was DirectX related. everything in dxdiag was fine, it showed DirectX 11. I assumed since I had a completely updated Windows and NVIDIA drivers it would be fine. Then I went to see if there were any updates for DX11, and I found this:
In there is a link to install a Windows 7 platform update for DirectX 11.1. I installed that, rebooted, and since then EVERYTHING runs in Direct Mode, and actually mirrors to my monitor perfectly which I had yet to see.
Maybe I just had some isolated problem or glitch, but I'm curious if anyone else has success with this simple update.