Update - I have been out of town so I am getting back to the problems with the 124 TE - I think now that this problem may not have anything to do with the tranny (or very little).
It appears that I am actually losing power somewhere - if I place the vehicle in park or neutral and rev the engine, I get to 3000 rpms and that's it! This would be consistant with the shifting problems I previously discribed: if I try to punch it a bit from a dead stop - the tranny would appear to jump/shutter and I would have to release the pedal and it would shift ok - on the highway, I could not exceed 65 mph. This appears to be consistant with the 3,000 rpm level.
I realize there are many reasons for power loss - plugs, fuel pump, etc. Any suggestions?