.... and The Culprit is ... Fuse #8, 10A, an ordinary red mini-blade fuse, labled "POS LAMPS" on the underside of the "lid" of the Intelligent Power Distribution Module" (IPDM), which is that approximately 7 in x 7 in flat black box just to the right of the battery as you face the front of the car. There is even a legend, giving position numbers and purposes of the fuses, printed in relief on the upper right hand corner of the upside-down lid of IPDM after you have turned it over and rotated it so you can read the letters (Be careful, there is little wiggle room and you don't want to break anything). Its Honor #8 also apparently fuses the front parking lamps and the dashboard lamp/PRNDL dimmer switch, as these were also restored to function by its replacement.
I make no claim to special knowledge, all I'm doing is giving the exact coordinates of the fuse, having simply "followed the string" to about Jan 23-24 2010, which mentioned all the same issues I was having (tail, front parking, dimmer all nonfunctional), where I found the suggestion to look for the offending fuse the IPDM, followed by a "victory dance" by the guy who found it.
So THANK YOU ALL for saving me an awkward and expensive trip to the dealer.
The owner's manual, by the way, tells you that there are fuses in the IPDM box, but then tells you it's a "dealer only" deal to pop it open and access them. Gimme a break! No tools and about four minutes from popping off and popping back on!
My particular sin was causing a short at some point while installing trailer lamp wiring. It was probably the point at which the "near" end of the driver's side rear lamp wiring harness connector exploded into a thousand pieces under the tool pressure I was exerting to make the disconnect, whereby I discovered it was NOT the part to pull on for disconnection, and resulting in the five tiny metal spades inside getting momentarily in contact, followed by the tedious sequelae of discerning which spade serves which widget, as their wires are ALL black - not color-coded - on the near side. But that's another story. I'm just glad I didn't do more damage. And if the dealer wants to charge more than five bucks for a new connector, I'm improvising my own.