The good news: it was trivial to set up Ubuntu with my wireless printer (HP C7250), just as an HP JetDirect, using the HP Photosmart C7200 settings. Far easier than setting that up on my Fedora machine.
Alas, when I activated “Enhanced Desktop Settings” (I’ll go look this up), there was a popup to install the nVidia drivers. So, away it went … and down went my wireless connection for that machine. I deactivated the nVidia driver, but the wireless problem persisted. From the popup, I could see the list of local wireless networks, including mine, but the handshaking seemed to fail, with lines similar to the output here, that read “wifi0: invalid skb->cb magic (0x00000168, expected 0xf08a36a2)” (I’m copying from the link, since I didn’t save the output from my machine).
Although I back out the nVidia drivers, the problem remained, so I reinstalled Ubuntu on that machine. This has made me skittish about nVidia drivers, after having excellent experiences with nVidia and Linux. I wonder if there are similar problems with ATI graphics, which I have not used for quite a while. I’m starting to contemplate a new primary home machine, and will possible (likely?) switch to Ubuntu, although this type of issue is one that makes me appreciate the stability of Debian, and the argument against Ubuntu for being inadequately tested. I wonder how Fedora compares in this situation.