Long story short. I got it torn apart to get at the heating element. All electrical connections tested OK (!) After scratching my head for an extended period of time, I moved around to the side to get a better angle. That's when I noticed the charred wire on the temp selector switch (in the back of the console area - don't know how I missed that when I took the back off. My wife and a visiting contractor-friend heard the "(expletive deleted)"
upstairs, so they came down to look/survey the damage. After properly ribbing me about having the whole thing in pieces
the friend helped me get the rest of it re-assembled (he's been-there, done that too).
We went online and found what looked like the right part the next day (3 Jan 08). We got it today (14 Jan 08). It's not _quite_ the right part - missing one of the spade terminals in back.......and I need all four of them.
Afte 2 hours hunting online and on the phone for the right one (no joy), I decided that maybe the switch was salvageable (at least for testing purposes), after all, it was the wire and the female spade-connector that had burned, not the switch, which had just a tiny surface scorch on the plastic case exterior.
Reassembled with the console back off and switch dangling loose (no, _don't_ try this at home), plugged it in and tested it. Dryer heated right up, no explosions or spitzen-sparken. Turned off dryer, unplugged, handled the switch - not even warm, so I figure it's probably OK. Completed reassembly. It's well-grounded, so I'm sure it's safe, but now we'll see if my risk-averse spouse is willing to touch it with a "used" switch.