so apparently when i switch my dark matter settings.xml file with the midnight skin's settings.xml file just to see what would happen... the cwtopback.png file doesn't show up on the midnight skin after swapping the .xml files.
so CLEARLY the problem lies within dark matter's settings.xml file....
the worst part about it though is that i CANNOT figure out WHAT in the world is causing it.
i've compared gnome's .xml code (working cwtopback.png) to dark matter's .xml and i CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME SEE WHAT THE PROBLEM IS!
i've tweaked around and modified certain things direct and indirect to that specific problem and i still have found NO REASON whatsoever that would cause this problem.
if ANYONE could diagnose this problem within this .xml file here PLEASE let me know on the forums what the solution is... i'm absolutely fed up with this toying around... i figure bigger numbers = faster results.
i'll be sure to thank you in the credits.