For all my shortcomings and wrong turns and misguided notions about scope-building and optics, I have gotten a compliment from Astronomy Boy that's left me beaming with pride and feeling inspired. I asked him to look at the rainbow-connection photos through the scope, and he wrote back:
"I am impressed with the pictures of the scope itself. It really looks like a telescope! If you can get a decent objective, you'll be in business, I'm sure."