So my first post didn't fare too well with this crowd. Let me try again.
Because I did not get into any of the schools I actually wanted to attend, I lost my drive to continue getting good grades and subsequently very negatively impacted my GPA. My current GPA does not reflect my ability. When I was applying to schools for undergrad, I had the desire to go to graduate school since I liked solving new problems. I now feel that since I did not get into one of the schools that would have been a better fit for me with respect to ability and the facts that I let my grades slip and that I've been out of school for effectively two years now for medical reasons, it will be much harder for me to get into a good graduate program. I've got one year's worth of classes to finish off my undergraduate degree, but even acing those two semesters wouldn't increase my GPA to what I deem acceptable.
I've also come to realize that I don't like school per se (the exams, the coursework, etc.), but I do love learning and working on new problems. Unfortunately, it's hard, if not impossible, to do things that require having learned things without going to school to get a degree that says you have learned said things.
How do I recapture my drive to do the work so that I do not totally hose any future I may have? I seriously doubt that attempting to transfer to one of the schools that have previously denied me would work.
How do I secure a position in a good graduate program with a pretty terrible GPA, having no real research experience, and coming from a less-than-stellar school? REUs rejected me, I suspect, on the grounds of my GPA.
Is there any path that would allow me to get into a decent research position without the bother of degrees?
If you can think of any other options that would lead to a research position, I'd love to hear them.