Cassius: you mentioned Plato's Philebus, and have mentioned it in the past. Recently I finally got around to reading it and was amazed by the breadth and depth of Epicurus' engagement with it and how completely he refuted the entire dialogue.
Two points (out of many!):
1) Reading Philebus with Epicurus in mind makes evident the basis of the hostility directed at him.
2) Philebus should be required reading for every Epicurean. It's invaluable to have some understanding of the Platonic world view and how it is bizarre on so many levels.
Maybe this belongs in a separate thread. More to the point, thanks for pointing out that "much of the story begins with Plato and Philebus".