I just installed Lyx 1.6.3 from the reps on another, more pristine, VL6.0 standard box. This time I logged out and in after installing it (not sure if that was necessary) and then ran Lyx from the terminal. A load of configuration data flew past and Lyx opened and ran without error messages. Well, I'm not sure what that tells me exactly, except perhaps something on my well-used normal VL box was interfering in some way. But on the clean box I didn't have to do anything special to get it to work.
hata_ph, I'll try an upgrade to 1.6.4 soon and see how it goes.
John, I'm glad there are at least two of you on the forum who know how to use Lyx and I might have to tap you for advice now and then. I like the idea of getting away from the distractions that a word processor puts in front of you - I often write in a text editor, as I'm sure many people do. But Lyx should help me to structure documents properly and achieve a nice output easily. I might introduce it to my students if I can get my head around it.