Modify > Transformation Tools > Show Manipulator Tool? It shows/hides the manipulator completely in all views.
Like shown in the image in my first post, the manipulator is visible, but doesn't have the move-arrowheads or scaleblocks in the center and on each end of the manipulator. The rotate manipulator however is not visible at all in all views but the perspective.
I got this with all objects, in all projects. Couldn't find anything in the preferences either. It managed to work around it hoping to eventually bump into the solution, but it's too hard in the UV Texture Editor now. I'm stuck.