I didn't think I'd ever quite get there, but I've managed to get Perseus running on my local machine.
For those of you who don't know or don't care, Perseus is the Tufts University project which has put pretty much all ancient Greek literature online, and quite a bit of other stuff besides. The problem is that it's a complicated, resource-intensive system, with a lot of users. And so during the day, it's pretty darned slow. Starting back in May, they began offering up an open-source version you could run locally, which I initially thought was very cool, right up until the point when I started trying to install it.
I got past the requirement for a Linux machine by loading up Sun's VirtualBox on my main desktop, and then proceeded to spend the next week downloading, compiling and loading up the required texts, indexes, source code and required support systems. I'm frankly pretty darned astonished that it works at all, but despite the fact that I'm pretty much a Linux newbie, by following the reasonably good directions included in the source code download, it's now up and running. And I feel reasonably good about that.