After much tinkering, I have successfully rooted, installed CWM, Titanium Backup, partitioned my SD card, and moved what I could from the very anemic internal storage to it. And all without making it a brick!
One hurdle I found was the Odin downloader file posted at the minus.com site. Saving it somehow converted it into a .bin file. Renaming it from that to an exe solved that nonsense. Don't know how I managed to be the only one this happened to, but hey, it forced me to use what remaining synapse activity I have.
I might play around with a custom ROM after this phone hits its 1-year anniversary, or I might just go get a new phone.
That said, many, many thanks to all the VERY
talented people who are hip-deep in the development environment! I'm hoping to make a few contributions after the refund comes from Uncle Sam (if my parole officer, I mean wife doesn't confiscate the bulk of it).