I've had issues before where my --password was not following the proper syntax parameters and it would fail, but once I followed it worked well. My guess is that some of the characters used and being interpreted not as a string, but additional options.
with single quotes usually will not allow anything in-between them to be executed.
Man, look if in your password exists some characters like '@' or '$'. I've had the same issue before because my password has '$'. I resolved my problem using double $ to pass the password. For example, if you password is T$ST then you must pass T$$ST as parameter to your connection. I dont know why but worked for me. Now my connection works even if no quotes. --password T$$ST works like a charm.
Jason - Thanks, but no cigar. I tried it with single quotes and the result was the same.
Marcelo - the punctuation characters used in the password are % # ? ! I will experiment with doubling them.
I neglected to mention in my first post that the client platform is Windows 7.
I tried every combo of doubling the punctuation chars, still was not able to authenticate.
I really need to find a solution to this, since Operations got back to me and said any password they give me will be of the same form, with punctuation... :-(