Turns out that the "wacom" kernel module in 2.6 kernels is actually just one of about 5 modules you need to load. With all of them loaded, and some xorg.conf settings copied from a howto, the tablet is again "working" under xorg. However, it still has that annoying habit of getting stuck about 10-20 pixels from the edge of the screen until I "shake" it to the opposite edge and return to the sticking edge.
That wouldn't seem to be too horrible save that GUI designers design with mice in mind, where you "throw" the cursor to the edge of the screen (and it lands on an infinitely long button on that edge, normally at the most-extreme pixel coordinate). Result of the bug is that scrolling, one of the most common actions (enough that I've got a worn spot on my tablet) requires multiple seconds of corrective actions to work... not ideal.
I would imagine that the linuxwacom package may allow for eliminating the effect, but I can't merge it due to a "missing keyword", I'm assuming that's intended to imply that I need to add an "~amd64" USE flag into the .emerge, but I haven't taken the time to track it down.
Going to leave for the games day in a few minutes. Tomorrow is reserved for Cinemon hacking. So I guess that's where Gentoo will stay until I have a need to test under Unix again.