You may want to consider the Data Form Web Part (DFWP) as an alternative to the CQWP, given the constraints you are asking for. The DFWP allows for the creation of XSL that will allow you to filter information as you have described. It also allows for more advanced things like conditional formatting, data source joins, etc.
The best way to see if this would work for you is to use SharePoint Designer to generate a Data Source from your list and then conditionally format it using the GUI to generate your basic XSL - it may well be that you never actually have to touch the XSL code, but it is there if you need it. Start with the major objectives, working your way down to the minor ones, saving working copies often. The created DFWP can simply be exported to save multiple copies along the way.