Drum roll, please.
The wheels have been set in motion. Yesterday I mailed the big check to ElectroAuto for the AC conversion kit.
At the end there was surprisingly little dread on my part, all things considered. I'd been hemming and hawing for weeks, oscillating between being totally convinced that this is the right thing to do and thinking I'm a total idiot for even considering it. (Hence the lack of posts lately) But it's done now.
I went ahead and splurged a bit and upgraded to the AC24LS motor and bought the "power brake" option (electric vacuum pump and reservoir). So within a few weeks stuff should start appearing at my door. Gotta get to work!