(if you haven't already, please read this post first)
After a bit of looking around, I found all the parts, plus an excellent (especially for the price) no-name toolkit for around 150 USD. The finished product is a not-too heavy bike with all that is necessary to commute--rain or shine. I only have one chainring in front (a 32) and an 8-speed in back with a SunTour thumbshifter doing all the work. After a little debate, I went ahead and put on both front and rear linear-pull brakes. Coincidentally, I was able to get all my parts in matte black. Because the frame also has a matte finish (and no branding whatsoever), it lends something to the overall bike. (I will attach photos later.)
I've only really had one problem: My chain will sometimes come off my single chainring when I am at the extreme cogs in the back. I am thinking I need some sort of guide, but I don't want to spend any more money. Any suggestions?
Now, the main problem I have with my commuter is I'm a big wimp. Lately, the highs have been around 28 degrees and more like 14 degrees when I ride in to work. Consequently, I haven't riden all that much. That's turning out to be a much larger hurdle than getting all the parts.
Speaking of parts, I'll try and get a list posted later for those who might be interested (at least, in the non-generic parts).