Need help with Gmail IMAP setup

I'm new to Android, and am on a Nexus 4. I can't get Gmail/IMAP set up on any apps other than the Gmail app.

I simply cannot use the stock Gmail app because of conversation view. Without debating the merits of conversation view, it is simply dysfunctional for my needs, and there is no way to turn it off on the Gmail app. So that app is out. And that's where I have hit a roadblock.

When I try to set up Gmail/IMAP in the Email app, K-9, AquaMail and MailDroid, I get errors.

For starters, I am trying to do this via WiFi. At first, I thought that perhaps the problem was a port block, by I am able to telnet to all relevant ports at the servers, so that's not the case. I have triple-checked the IMAP is enabled in my Gmail acct, and I found a link to check to make sure my account wasn't locked, and that Google link indicates that it's all good.

WIth K-9, the problem is the outgoing mail server. I can receive mail (though some times like this morning, it will take 30 minutes before new messages appear, after turning the phone on). That's annoying, but at least it eventually works. The outgoing server settings I'm using:
Security: SSL/TLS (always) [though I've tried all options here, none solve the problem]
Port: 465 [and I've tried 587]
Authentication: LOGIN [I've also tried none, "Automatic", "Plain", "CRAM-MD5"]
Username: full gmail address
Password: obviously quadruple-checked to make sure it is right

For the stock Email app, I cannot even get incoming configured:
Username/password correct
IMAP server:
Port: 993
Security: SSL/TLS [again, here I've tried all options]
IMAP path prefix [left blank]

When I click "next", it checks the settings and returns an error: "Couldn't finish - Couldn't open connection to server."

MailDroid and AqualMail, same problems -- cannot set up incoming or outgoing.

I have two Gmail accounts, and I have tried them both. Reset the phone to factory settings and tried again.

On Saturday, I was on the phone for an hour with someone at Google, who was able to replicate the problem in the Email app with her Gmail acct on her Nexus 4. But she had no solutions for me. She said she would ask around and get back to me, but that was 5 days ago, and I haven't heard anything. No response to my follow-up email to her on Tuesday morning, either.

I am desperate, and very grateful to any solutions. Email is the #1, by far, use for my phone--over voice calls. If I can't get this worked out, I fear I have to switch over to iOS, as that's easier than switching out of Gmail.

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