MinCost & Inspector D,
Pardon my forgetting that many people really don't understand the theory behind a load-bearing wall. I've been doing this for a long time and such things just seem like common sense to me... "Well, I didn't see any colimns with "Lally" written on them in the basement, so I cut them off!" =) Once barely saved an inlaw from wrecking his house because he thought the wall between the living room and dining room was just a partition wall.
You're right, get a licensed contractor in there to explain what's what and be safe. Some newer construction also has supports that aren't specifically load-bearing but still hold a lot of weight on engineered beams.