Well, there is a good reason for the difficulty!
The published I2C address is wrong.
A friend of mine sent me a unit he thought was defective, but doing some research, I found that the correct address is 0x3F. Thank you ianbren for a sample sketch I modified for this tutorial:
Code - http://tny.cz/646b5364
I2C LCD Library - https://bitbucket.org/fmalpartida/new-liquidcrystal/downloads
You can verify the I2C address of any connected I2C device with the following sketch:
I2C Scanner code - http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/I2cScanner#.UwvAz_ldXD4