I think that we all probably come from very different places. I don't understand the whole ET mindset but it was never instilled in me the way it is in many other Christians as I was raised Mormon (which most do not even consider Christian, anyway). And even though the Book of Mormon speaks about an eternal hell it's not really something that Mormons focus on all that much as they don't believe that most people are going there (as does traditional Christianity). In Mormonism we just don't all make it to the "Celestial Kingdom" (the highest degree of glory).
But anyway, my only point is that while I had doubts about the Mormon church and Joseph Smith and all of that I also (probably as a result of the same) had doubts about the existence of God, just as you do. I had "hope" because I was taught/told that there is a God, but I did not feel like I "knew" Him or even "knew" that He did exist.
Not to be discouraging (so I hope this is more encouraging than discouraging) but for as far back as I can remember I would pray to God to reveal himself to me so that I would "know" him (as others said that "they" did), but after many years of praying and begging and pleading with Him - to no avail - I gave up altogether and figured I would just find out when I die. And it wasn't until I was in my 30's (about 5 years ago) that God finally revealed himself to me in such a way that I did not doubt for a second that it was God reaching out to me. So, it is my experience that God can and will find us wherever we are, but it certainly doesn't come by demand or by any other timetable but His. Sometimes it doesn't even seem to come by prayer and seeking... because it does take so long, sometimes, unfortunately.
But His timing is always "right" even if we don't know when that time will come.
It was only for a brief few months after that experience that I gave serious thought to the doctrine of "eternal torment" ("serious" in that I believed it to be what the bible said, so didn't really spend all that much time thinking seriously about it or questioning it. I was only interested in figuring out what all of the "symbols" in the book of Revelation and Daniel and Ezekiel meant and how/when believers might be "raptured"... I was REALLY SERIOUSLY INTO all that "end times" stuff).
But about 6 months in I came across the teaching of universal salvation for the very first time (because I clicked on an add about tithing being unscriptural) and I knew from the very first article that I read that it was true.
So, for as long as it took me to even believe that God exists at all, was just how quick (even faster) it was for me to see the truth of UR. Now I don't see everything the same way now that I did then and I think that there are just as many "denomination" (if I can call them that, for lack of a better word) among those who believe in UR as there are those who believe in ET. Just like with ET, the differences are "in the details".
But when it comes to the LOVE of God and the WRATH of God, we know that God's love "endureth forever" while his wrath "for a moment" and we know that God identified Himself as a God of LOVE (even as LOVE itself) and that "true judgment" is to show mercy and compassion.
We reap what we sow and mercy is shown to those who show mercy, while the unmercidul and unforgiving reap coal of fire upon themselves and to them God reveals himself as unmerciful.
A very good friend of mine posted a study on judgment at CARM some time back and it was so good that I copied it and posted it with some of my own studied on an online blog. You might find it helpful, maybe? Or at least be able to use it to get a glimpse at an understanding of judgment is that neither "all loving" nor extremely "wrathful" (particularly to degree that some would go - even in some UR camps).
It's titled: How does The King of heaven deal with those who do not forgive. You can find it at the following link:http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=368111335&blogId=466307247
(I would copy/paste it here, instead of directing you elsewhere, but I would lose all of the formatting and have to either reformat it or post it without and I find that the formatting (bold, underlins, colors, etc) helps (at least it does me).
Didn't mean to write so much, sorry.
Just wanted to let you know that you are not as alone as you think you might be when it comes to doubts, etc. Many of us have probably been there at one time or another. I pray that your "time" is coming soon.