Thank you for the response.
Am using Raspbian for Robots. Image came from the SD card that was included in the starter kit.
I was asking what the underlying Raspbian version was to help me in aligning similar reports on Pi forums. Wanted to be sure I was looking at reports for the same Raspbian version I was using and not waste my time on other versions.
I finally (just this AM) got it on its feet. I'm not sure why, but if I put the wpa-essid and wpa-psk entries in /etc/network/interfaces - and remove the call to wpa_conf; then all comes up correctly. For all I know my wpa_supplicant.conf file has an error; and taking it out of the picture clears things up.
I'm at work right now, but I'll try to post a copy of the interfaces file that got it working for me.