My machine is tuned-up and ready to go! And apparently it's a REALLY good thing I had it serviced.
My friend's husband took care of it, and according to him, this was one of the worst messes he had pulled out of a machine in a long time.
I guess that is what comes from neglecting maintenance for so very long!
I haven't had a chance to use my machine yet, but I expect the tension will be right and the stitches even. Also, I will do a better job of pulling out my thread from top to bottom (rather than pulling it out up by the spool), because that was an obvious problem in the fixing too.
Old habits die hard!