Decided that I had mucked around enough in the ros files and that I would re-install the whole darn thing...which seemed a better idea when I started it than when it did an hour later. Note to self: next time write down all the extra tweaks you had to do to make the software install!
In the end, things actually seem better, and I didn't have to re-apply a number of the fixes I found just one or two days ago. Loads of fun to be playing around with code that's being updated daily.
(For the record though: on the first time around, I had applied this fix for using python 2.6 instead of 2.5 with wxwidgets. Also here's a patch to the kdl makefile.)