as always thanks, Skull. I know you don't live in the jailbroken world. But those of us who live in the jailbroken world have a constant readout of all memory usage through a status bar we can engage called "SBS Settings". I am regularly emptying ram down to its bare bones. So I'm quite sure that has nothing to do with my battery issue personally. It's just in the jailbroken world it's way easier to keep control of your RAM usage than it is in the un-jailbroken world.
It's with that same app from Cydia that I can tell for 99% sure that none of the apps I use regularly are releasable from ram by using the status bar wiggly icon removal technique you refer to. After a couple of hours of testing today I verified that it has no effect on emptying the ram. SBS settings "free up memory" subroutine clears all processes, wired or otherwise, that you've been referring to.
But I am eager to discover your findings when you wish to share them. And, again, thank you for your always clear and detailed answers.
I do the same...I think I may have a little case of OCD, I cannot keep stuff running or open if I am not using it. Interesting what Skull said though that doing this can actually drain more battery....