Learned my lesson, beaten down, but not deterred
Lesson #1: See a car before you commit to buying, and do not fly across the country to do so. Stay local, or within a weekends drive.
So, I found several cars for sale in the area that are a bit higher priced than the car in Kansas that I passed on. I feel that it would be better to pay the slightly higher price for a car with fewer issues, as well as being able to inspect first. Unfortunately I am going to be away this weekend so I will have to wait until next weekend to go browse.