OK, I think after two days of banging my head against the screen I have a working solution.
The trick is to move the offset in the Texture TOP by tiny increments. Somehow it seems that if you move it by high units there is no change. It seems like the default number in there should appear as a 2 digit float, because it is extremely confusing. I really only figured this out by accident.
A couple of things I noticed in case anybody is listening.
1/If you select an orthographic projection onto a surface, Touch will default to "fitting" the texture to the geometry, and thus distorting it. This is definitely not what you would expect from an orthographic projection and forces the user to do some un-necessary math to undistort the texture
2/As an alternative to the above you would want to use a flat or frontal projection. There does not seem to be such a thing? The Face projection does not do that, as it projects onto each face. I looked into "XYZ Position", but there is no reference to it in the docs, and it also does not seem to do flat/frontal projection. Am I missing something?
3/The SOP viewers are really useless to view texture projection. This looks like a clear bug to me. If you set your viewers to a certain view onto your geometry, then go up one level, when you dive back in, they are all reset to where they were. They also seem to sometimes "lose" the projection, reverting to a simple polygon display. Can't seem to figure out what does that.
Touch Designer Pro 088
Windows 7 - 8 Core- 8 gigs RAM - Nvidia GTX 560