So much for the earlier mental gymnastics and knitting voodoo to get the foot to not do that wide striping thing 'cause it totally didn't matter for the leg.
I even went down a needle size (2.75 mm) once the ribbing started on the front side when I noticed that the wide striping was going to happen on the first 5 rounds of the leg. It didn't matter.
I should've known and/or paid more attention to Yarnissima's picture here of her Firebird Firestarters. She's got that fat striping going on the leg on hers.
So now I'm at the point where I can bind off but I'm still deciding on what to do. I can:
1) let the handpainted patterning be and bind off,
2) frog the whole bugger with the intention of knitting a pair of plain stockinette stitch socks out of this yarn and cast on a new Firestarter with another yarn,
3) or frog to the start of the leg and change the ribbing to St st. The only issue there would be the transition from the ribbed heel to St st would be rather loose and "poofy."
So for now it'll sit as an UFO for awhile. I think I'll come back to it after I finish my 2 other socks-in-progress.