On the advice* of my wife I took the blessed thing to a local computer guy, who promptly determined that the power supply was busted and needed a new one. Thanks to the coupon that my wife also found and printed out for me, it’ll even cost less than a hundred bucks and I’ll get it back this afternoon. If all goes well, I’m back on track for the Kindle purchase.
Moral of the story? Marry well.
*No, not instruction. My wife never tells me what to do. I’m just not stupid.