Not sure what happened to the post I made a while ago on this, but I've been known to fall asleep at the 'puter and not send something out. When I wake up, the computer is off and all is forgotten.
Basically, what happened with this issue was that when I started to work on trying to disassemble the staircase, there were two main problem areas. First, access to the underside of the staircase was extremely limited, as the basement stairs were below, and there were cabinets built in on the upper landing, making it extremely difficult to access the underside.
Above, the stair treads were full of hidden nails going in several directions, probably due to efforts to quiet creaks and squeaks. To get the treads off, I would have had to really rip them up.
So, after spending the better part of a day going nowhere, I decided it would be better to just bite the bullet and buy new treads and risers when the time comes.
I greatly appreciate all the insight and thoughts!