Fixed my path1 error:
Turns out the M2_HOME environment variable was not set on my system. I think this should be set by maven when it installs; for some reason this must have failed on my system.
I set the M2_HOME variable using the control panel, restarted visual studio (windows programs get updates to the environment until they are restarted...), and was able to set my settings.xml file using the npanday sub-menu in VS.
To verify M2_Home is set correctly:
I imagine this will work for you as well.