Thanks so much for the reply. I have tried every conceivable combination of resets, disconnects, battery removals, etc. I don't think there is any camera setting that I am missing. I did get the questionable control functions to work intermittently a couple of times, which leads me to believe there is some sort of connectivity problem within the grip regarding those particular functions.
I have a return option from the seller so I think I will exercise it and try another one.
I like the heft of the D300 with the grip for handheld work so maybe the next one will work properly.
Thanks again for your concerned response. I will certainly try your remedies and hope that they cure the problem!