Dropping the replacement distributor into the car took less time than finding the cap and rotor I needed from storage.
It only took a few bumps of the case counterclockwise and clockwise to get the engine started, then a smaller bit of turning it to find the sweet spot--well, the temporary sweet spot. As soon as I got the thing locked down for a test drive, it started raining. Drove it anyway. Seems smoother, can't smell it dumping raw fuel into the exhaust.
Next up is another round of tuning and tweaking that should take care of all the drivability issues I've been having for a few years--hard starting when it's hot, which gets me stranded and makes a-holes unhappy; rough idle, dumping fuel, impressive clouds of gray smoke that fumigate the area if I coast in third at highway speeds...poor car.
Assuming that's taken care of, all that's left is the leaking sunroof, rusted-out rear hatch, clutch, power steering, rear tires...radiator...air conditioning...stereo (still uninstalled more than a year later)...getting the dash back together...bodywork...muffler...