Well my experiences with WordPress so far are exactly as expected. I have been able to expedite the creation of this blog with only minor css tweaks and some php code. At the same time, I can also see the potential for customisation. Between the freely available 3rd party plugins and the ability to tweak any of the overlying theme source code (and if you’re game – the underlying application source code!) you can bend the site to whatever purpose you see fit.
Thanks again to Kate from OffThePage for recommending that I quit re-inventing the wheel and get on with the job. Thanks Sis!