On screen, my creation looks fine, but when I outline strokes or create offset strokes, everything is jacked up. I have converted text to outlines, adjusted the resulting outlines, but can't figure out how to get AI CS5.5 to convert to a continuous stroke. Suggestions are most appreciated.
Your outline appears to not be one, single path. But a collection of separate segments. You need to make the outline a single path for offset path to work as you are expecting.
You can actually tell where the path breaks by looking at the results...
The S looks correct because it is the only character which is a single path.
If it's all one, compound, path, then the offset will be as you are expecting:
So you merely need to join the separate segments.