Well, it's not actually as cool as it sounds, but I'm now officially an OpenDirectory Master! Today I ended up reformatting the server and setting everything up one step at a time, instead of the way I did it last time, which was "everything at once."
The moment of truth, when it finally happened, was nothing short of breathtaking. At first, I was able to add accounts just fine, which was our problem yesterday. Then, we were able ot see that the clients recognized something should be happening, but we weren't sure of the exact solution. Then it clicked, of course it had something to do with DNS! So I changed a setting on the client machine and blammo, the test user logged in perfectly!
We finished up the configuration of the PowerPC Macs (two G5 iMacs, three G4 iMacs, and one PowerMac G4) and tomorrow, we're distributing a new version of the system image we made on MacBook Pro 11 to the rest of the numerous intel-based Macs. From there, we'll be in business.
Tonight, I'm also setting up the software on the G3 iBook, which is just going to be an install of Mac OS X 10.4, iWork '08 and Office 2004. Much as I'd love to take the path of my Pismo and put Office'08 on there, I doubt that it would be appreciated. Tomorrow at some point I'll install Photoshop CS2 on the iBook, and with luck, be able to join it to the 10.5 OD server. If it works, Kate will have yet another machine she can have someone use. If it doesn't, I may put OS9 on it for her, along with Final Cut Pro 2 and recommend she have someone use it for on-site video capture. I presume it'll work though, as it's advertised as working, and the 10.5 system is nearly at a default configuration.
So, with luck that'll all work tomorrow, but the biggest and hardest part of the project is done.