I'm now keeping a recipe cataloging the technologies and configuration that drive this xolotl.org site.
Continue to check the recipe as the site evolves.
Once the site reaches a certain maturity, I'm thinking to build a Drupal install profile to make it easier for others to duplicate this installation.
With some work, I've now enabled OpenID user authentication. It would have been a lot easier if I weren't running Drupal 5 (for which a core OpenID module is not yet ready) or using a shared host (which meant I don't control PHP at the system level).