Took the weekend and rebuilt all the software I lost when my ill-fated $100 linux box revealed why it was only worth $100. Starting Friday night and continuing through Saturday morning, evening and Monday night, I rewrote all of the software I had. Thankfully the "done it once already" rule applied and a lot of it was remembering some tricks in XSLT that I had to overcome.
The fun, as it turned out, was getting the PERL XML::Checker module working. More precisely, getting Cygwin to compile it. There are some assumptions in the CPAN module that make perfect sense in most distros - but in Cygwin it's more minimalist - you only get what you want/need. And GCC isn't one of them and the errors thrown by CPAN's makefiles don't make it intuitively obvious.... but after a few hours of "wtf this should work" I finally saw the one line, amidst 100s, that said "gcc not found" and off I went.