The new keyboard arrived today, and I swapped it out in under 15 minutes. Not bad time at all given that the Dell Latitude D-series machines have a different means of accessing the guts than the older C-series models (which I know inside-and-out), requiring a trip to Dell's support web site to track down the service manual. They have made the process easier than the older chassis, but I am ever nervous when popping plastic latches to get at laptop internals. In the end, the new keyboard went in smoothly and the hinge cover went back on without a scratch or broken latch.
I have to say that I really like Dell's online support chat. I've used it twice now and been pleased with both the responsiveness and ability of the tech on the other end. This time the tech had to refer me to spare parts sales as this was damage and not a warranty item, but he did send me on my way with both the phone number and the part number to order. Props to Dell for eliminating a trip through 1-800-Hell.