Alright, an update on the situation.

I reinstalled Lubuntu 12.10 and now by virtue of being plugged into the network it managed to update itself and voila, the GUI is up.

However, the screen is set to the lowest brightness setting and the controls on the keyboard do not have any effect to changing it to a higher, at least smewhat readable, setting.

Is there anything I can do towards fixing the brightness of the screen?