It opens my Downloads folder but only a small percentage of the stuff shows up. It won't do anything anyway. So I need to just uninstall it I guess and forget it, but is it okay to just uninstall it the way I would any other software? Since it's hooked into my game will it harm the game or the custom content to uninstall CI? I checked the stickies but, frankly, those posts are from 2005 and this is late 2011 so I'd rather have recent advice. I'm very disappointed about the CI. I've been downloading manually for some time so I guess I'll just have to keep doing that. It's just that I had quite a few items that weren't showing up, probably from one or two sites, and I wanted to see what they were and remove them, but I can't get CI to work at all.
Yes, you can uninstall the Clean Installer and nothing bad will happen. The Clean Installer is not actually "hooked into" your game in any way; it merely uses the registry keys set up by the game to decide where to find your save game.
However, lots of people use the Clean Installer every day to do a variety of tasks. Perhaps you're just not using it correctly? Have you read the quick start guide and user manual?
Are you aware that the Clean Installer has 3 different modes, and that the mode that you are using is completely dependent upon how the Clean Installer is started? To browse package files, just run the CI and select the location of the packages. To view and install a Sims2Pack, double click on it in Windows Explorer. To install all of the Sims2Pack and package files in a folder, including those compressed into zip and rar files, right click on the folder and select "Install all".
Is there something specific that you're trying to do, but you don't know how to do it? Why not ask us how before you give up?