Aha! This was just what I was looking for! Thanks, ifelse.
For others who may have been banging their head on the monitor, what I did was stick that include line in my site's index page, then I went into the /wp-admin/index.php page and found the dashboard sidebar bits. I pasted that in my new site index page where I wanted, and tweaked out things I didn't need, like the "edit" links.
Now I have to figure out how to change the "Latest Posts" links to the actual post itself (or just the blog address) and not the post-edit section. I also have to add a few more bits, like the Pages list, and links to some of the more popular categories and a Flickr stream.
And yes, I know the styling is awful, and the CSS is worse. I'm working on it because I've since learned how to do it *right*. or at least better. ;)
This is a very handy thing to have for an index page or site-portal type thingy, as I do have some visitors coming in through the main site index and not the blog index, which is what everyone else has linked to.
The more I learn what I can do with WP the more I love.