I decided to back up and play through The Hive again, and I'm nearly finished there. I did mention I'm slow, didn't I? If these NPCs weren't so infernally interesting, I could actually make some progress in this game! ;-) The sheer amount of storytelling that emerges if you take the time to seek it is truly remarkable.
Truth be told, the more significant reason for my dawdling is that we have a baby with tummy troubles (nothing serious, just very fussy and needy), so priorities have shifted a bit to things that actually matter.
I've got plenty to say about Planescape--taking lots of notes--so please look for a proper post very soon. I especially appreciate all the good advice from Planescape veterans who posted strategy recommendations - very useful in helping me get the most out of my time in the game.
Apologies for my sluggish pace. Stay tuned.