Yesterday after work, I finished putting the rx7 back together (just had to put in the radiator/fan/shroud/etc. so not a lot), filled the fluids, turned the key... and it started. Checked the timing (close enough), monitored things as it got up to temperature and burped the cooling system, and shut it off. After a thorough investigation, it was determined there were no major leaks. By this point it was a significant storm outside, so a hoodless test drive was out of the question.
Fortunately, today at lunchtime I managed to con a coworker-friend into swinging by to help put the hood back on.
Today after work, I re-checked fluids and tightened one weepy hose clamp. Hopped in, turned the key... and it started. After warming up, I adjusted the timing (it was really close but now it's dead on), closed the hood, and backed out of the garage.
Went for a short drive around the neighborhood, getting back as the rain started (noticing a trend here? This has been all summer - it's hot and sunny until about 5:30 then storms, except for the weekends when it just rains all day). No major issues, seems to run about the same as before. The new clutch feels much better than the old one, which wasn't worn too badly when I took it out, but felt like it was on its last legs.
I've parked over a sheet of clean cardboard (a rarity!) so I can identify any leakages. I expect a little from the coolant hoses, as those usually take a set after a cycle or two and need snugged up. I'm also still very strongly suspecting that the oil pressure sender is leaking from the seam in the body, but haven't had any clean oil come out of it yet, so it could just be the old goop trapped in there getting hot and running out.
In any case, it's currently a whole lot better than it was (previously this exercise would have resulted in 3-4 dollar-bill sized oil spots on the floor by the time it even warmed up).