Okay, so I didn't quite give up when I said I did. More notes on this install.
1) Downloaded Xcode 4.3 and then tried a fink install but it whined about not finding a c compiler. After some googling, I found out that you need to download the command line tools from the "Downloads" tab within Xcode's preferences. This is pretty complicated for us "hello_world.c" folks.
2) After doing that, trying a fink installation again. Jumped into the fink install directory and did "./bootstrap" and ran with all the defaults. It attempted to make a new /sw2 directory so I killed the job and did 'sudo mv /sw /sw_fail' to get that out of the way then launched the bootstrap script again.
After a few minutes:
3) After fink installed, I typed:
This setup the fink path by creating a .profile file in my ~ (one wasn't there already, not sure what it would have done if one was).
fink index -f
That's it and probably a good spot to stop for tonight...