So it's clearly time to share some good news:
I have a new set of wheels! A brand-new 2010 Honda CR-V EX-L, with such treats as all-wheel drive, heated side mirrors, a mondo stereo and a moon roof.
There's also a number of toys that I haven't fully figured out yet. Such as how to get the iPod interface to play a selected playlist rather than shuffling the entire iPod. (I'm not interested in hearing my Christmas music just yet, thankyouverymuch.) But figuring that stuff out is going to be part of the fun.