@gatehouse: @golguin I defeated! I took most of this week off of the game to concentrate on my finals (god that was nerve wracking after being out of school for 15 years) and went back at it this morning. Made it through Lost Izalith and killed the Bed of Chaos. I didn't realize how close to the end of the game I was until I came upon Gwyn. I went into the fight blind...ended up dying a couple of times due to poor rolling on my part and then realized I could just parry him. My ripostes were hitting for 900+ damage each, the fight was trivial once I figured out the timing.
I never did do the DLC, but there's always NG+! Thanks for all the help.
Also...I kind of want to try either a different weapon or maybe even a slightly different build on NG+ if possible, but I'm not sure if it would be wise to start pushing my stats in another direction. I am WAY overleveled, but whatever. I'm currently using the Paladin armor set which is upgraded to around +3 or +4 on each piece, a Caduceus Kite Shield +15, and a Divine Claymore +10. I would like to, at the very least, use a different weapon starting pretty soon. Maybe a halberd.