It looks like I’ve successfully restored my blog … and within the bounds of “well, this is WordPress,” some degree of confidence that the site is currently hack free. (Check this TechCrunch post for more on WP and security).
It turns out that the reason my initial restoration effort failed was the following bit of code had found it’s way into my header: <?php wp_end(); ?>. I found that only after completely wiping out all WP files and databases on my server, then reinstalling … but I did keep my WP theme, which I’ve modified a bit … so after seeing everything working with the default theme, I restored my back up custom theme … and the site stopped working again.
The main delay in my bringing the site back was a combination of being busy and choosing other priorities (such as my wife, garden and dog — you can find out a little more about how I’ve been spending my free time on Back Channel).
For the record: I hate all spammers. It’s not like me to hate. I hate spammers. No punishment the devil might devise for spammers is appropriately cruel.