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just a preliminary: levels and depths are not the same. your issues are about depths. and unloadMovie(2) won't unload any of the movieclips you attach to depth 2.
now, each timeline has its own set of depths. in particular, if your on(release) handlers are attached to movieclip buttons, your attachMovie() statements are attaching movieclips from the library to depth 2 of the movieclip button's timeline
if you then have movieclip buttons in the newly attached movieclip, you won't be attaching to the same timeline and therefore will not be replacing previously attached movieclips.
if all of this is making your head spin, you might simplify things by attaching all your movieclips to the same timeline. for example, you could use:
thanks for the clarification on the levels and depths part. now, the final piece of the puzzle: I changed all my code to put depth 2 on the _root level. problem now is just alignment. how would I change the placement of the loaded clip if it's _root leveled? It worked fine before, but now it just loads in and doesn't move if you change the _x and _y placement (as shown in the first post)
to control the properties (including the _x, _y) of your attached movieclip use: