In the meantime, I created a Server 2008 R2 x64 partition running on VirtualBox on my HP DV5Z laptop and installed SharePoint 2010 in stand-alone mode. That works fine, and as with MOSS 2007, it’s a much easier environment to “play with” than a full blown server farm installation.
In a second Server 2008 R2 partition, also on my laptop, I am setting up SharePoint 2010 as a server farm with SQL Server 2008 R2 in that partition hosting the DBs, but with my Dell PowerEdge 1850 downstairs as the domain controller – that runs Server 2008 R2 and Active Directory Domain Services at a 2008 Forest/Domain functional level. My thinking is that once I have a fully functional Central Administration site working, the farm configuration steps will proceed as intended.
UPDATE: I scratch installed the 1850 this weekend to install a fresh copy of 2008 R2 x64 Enterprise. SharePoint 2007 is running in a Server 2008 x86 partition, and SharePoint 2010 is installed natively on the Host; working just fine now that the webresources.axd issue was resolved in the process of reinstalling the Host OS.