The outcome was that I tried SharePoint Easy Setup, and it worked, eventually.
I find it has some issues and I needed to debug the script to fix them.
- When there's a problem installing a prereq, it doesn't tell you what the problem was. For instance, I had a later version of Sync Framework installed, so that just failed.
- I had a similar problem with WIF, so that failed too.
I eventually set a breakpoint in the script and removed all prereqs, and it then proceeded to install the server. This had a problem when the laptop went into Sleep mode, and later Hibernate mode. It seems there are timeouts on the Process.Start when it spawns off parts of the install. Because of the timeouts, the script failed in the middle of the PSCONFIGUI step, but left PSCONFIGUI running.
That actually completed, and I was able to use SharePoint 2010! I was able to create a site collection, and created two sites under that first one (Group Calendars - Interesting). I was able to save the site as a template, import that template into Visual Studio 2010 and then to deploy the modified site to a new, unconfigured site collection.
But it wasn't actually done! After rebooting for an unrelated reason, I found the setup script running again. It reinstalled the server and proceeded from there. It claims to have succeeded in the installation, but got quite a few error messages in the process.
Overall, I call it a win.
See SharePoint 2010 Post-Install if you want to see the details of the post-install phase, with the errors.