*snip*
> Qt costs about $2K. It has a rich library of widgets and someday I will
> wish I had them. I can't tell how steep the learning curve is, but for
> most systems the more bells and whistles the longer it takes to get out
> of the station.

Actually, it doesn't have to. A free version is available under the
GNU license, with the catch being no official Trolltech support
(outside of the widget documentation).

> wXruby probably assumes that you know the Windows API, which I don't.

Don't worry, you don't need to know the API. wxWidgets, which (at
least in the C++ implementations I've seen) programs close to the same
as Qt, is used in wxRuby. The learning curve is probably as steep as
Qt's, though.