It didn't work out very well, but hopefully the team can learn something from the attempt:
I've shared all this on the xubuntu development e-mail list, along with my hardware profile. I tried setting up the profile and all that stuff on the wiki but I guess I don't know how. Any pointers on doing that would be appreciated.
Anyway some folks might enjoy reading about a first-time tester's halting ventures into helping out in my own small way.