ok, decided after researching "door lining" on this website and finding great instructions that I could handle the removal of the door lining.
did so, checked out the vacuum line leading to the lock actuator, it was fine...unhooked it from the actuator and could feel air moving when unlocking/locking the locks.
removed the lock actuator and hooked it up to a different vacuum hose which normally activates the gas cap door lock, it worked fine as well.
the lock mechanism rods and connectors looked fine though they moved stiffly so I applied liberal amounts of WD40 till they got smoother...hooked everything back up and voila, now all door locks unlock and lock no matter which doorlock I use the keys on!
I do have to hold the key in the lock position about five seconds to give the vacuum at the passenger door lock a chance to apparently build up and activate the lock but it beats having to walk over to the passenger side to lock the door manually!
there's still a buzzing sound coming from the vacuum pump in the trunk after I've unlocked the doors like it's trying to build up the vacuum reserver but it's something I'll guess I'll get used to.
thanks again to all who provided advice and feedback, it helped greatly not only to narrow down the problem but encouraged me to get this done.
Network Integration Engineer
MCSE, CLP, CCNA