theholycow is big on sharing info so here ya go...this morning driving home from the gym, my hesitation issue was more violent that i've ever seen/felt, and FINALLY the car threw a code.
VVT operation came up under the SGII given code. for you toyota guys/gals out there, pay attention. there is a bolt concealing the VVT system filter in the head just under/near the most right(passenger side) intake runner. with the 14mm bolt removed you can reach the filter with a pair of 90* needle nose pliers. clean and reinstall with a new o ring. for good measure, i sprayed carb cleaner in the port.