While distracted by a ton of yak shaving --- mostly the tidying up of various bits of my elisp research-notes-management code --- I did accomplish some other minor things, though.
For instance, the version skew between my laptop and desktop .emacs is now fixed. Just one monolithic version of it is now checked into my svn repository with a switch in the elisp itself to turn various features on or off as appropriate.
Also I discovered that Latex2html seems to be basically a dead project. Tex4ht is the evident successor, sort of. It tries much harder to replicate tex's greek letters and other symbols in unicode and stuff. I am very thankful it has a debian package, for the recommended build procedure is mind-bogglingly manual, as if they've never heard of Makefiles.