ok - took a nice long break from this project ... revisited this morning, re-soldered a couple spots and all resistances check out - thanks for the tip, PB!
so ... confident that everything else was going to go well I installed tubes, plugged in and only the preamp tubes are firing. unplugged before checking anything else. no smoke, smells or pops when plugged in. i went back and rechecked connections — no obvious shorts/wires touching.
Would anyone suggest checking anything else to help narrow down issue?