So, I got my first PIC processor(s) today.  I now have a PIC16F84A and two PIC18F232(? … need to double check this).  I was able to install MPLAB, and it successfully communicated with the PicStart Plus.  I also installed Microchip's C18 C comiler.  There are several others to try, but I think I will attempt to get one working before I try out the others.