Fast forward a week: I met with the surgeon and he agreed (surprise!) that surgery was the correct solution. The next available date was about two weeks in the future.
Fast forward two weeks: After eating stuff I don't like and not eating stuff I do like, I finally had surgery. I think I may have lost more than ten pounds, between the change in diet and the gallbladder that was removed. I am now free to return to killing myself with food and beer.
After about five days, I was back at work and not really in any pain. After another couple of weeks, I was cleared to attempt to kill myself with exercise and give myself a hernia by picking up kids again.
Conclusion: Don't get gallstones, but if your liver and gallbladder will not cooperate, get the surgery and go back to fun food.