"Lyx" is a nice GUI frontend for Latex, but it has not been packaged for VL.
I can find lyx in out repo. I think hanu packaged this up with texlive, but it doesn't have the usual filename.
PACKAGE NAME: lyx-1.4.4-i586-1.tlz
PACKAGE LOCATION: ./x-apps
PACKAGE SIZE (compressed): 4573 K
PACKAGE SIZE (uncompressed): 27270 K
PACKAGE REQUIRED: qt >= 3.3.7,libmng >= 1.0.5,libjpeg >= 6b,libpng >= 1.2.12,Mesa >= 6.5.1,x11 >= 6.9.0,fontconfig >= 2.2.3,freetype >= 2.1.9,expat >= 1.95.8,gcc >= 3.4.6,aspell >= 0.60.4,cxxlibs >= 6.0.3,zlib >= 1.2.3,python >= 2.4.3,texlive >= 20070212
lyx: LyX (graphical frontend for LaTeX typesetting system)
lyx: ``LyX is a document processor that encourages an approach to writing
lyx: based on the structure of your documents, not their appearance. It is
lyx: released under a Free Software / Open Source license.
lyx: LyX is for people that write and want their writing to look great, right
lyx: out of the box. No more endless tinkering with formatting details,
lyx: 'finger painting' font attributes or futzing around with page boundaries.
lyx: You just write. In the background, Prof. Knuth's legendary TeX
lyx: typesetting engine makes you look good.''
lyx: (c) 2007 GNU GPL v2
Otherwise, everything else you said is right-on. It's not for the faint of heart