I pivoted to using home-manager using the standalone installation. It seems to provide a reasonable starting point and a found a fair bit of prior art when searching Github, so my hope was there would be good examples to model off of. It took me a frustrating time to realize after running home-manager switch that only some changes took effect immediately. Knowing this probably would have saved me an hour and could have possibly solved a number of my problems from yesterday as well – I don’t have a quick way to check.