My new best friends over at M&K Engraving emailed me pictures of the laser etching tests they ran for me yesterday.
First they needed to confirm what I wanted the output to look like, so they ran a test of my design, and of it inverted.
And then they ran a few different tests at different etch depths.
They are mailing these samples out to me asap, so I should have them on hand for visual inspection before the week is out. Assuming one of the depths is right for my needs, and I don't need to modify the drawings in order to get it to output right, I may very well be able to bring this part to a close VERY quickly.
Huge thanks to M&K Engraving for not only being REALLY thorough, but also responding to all of my emails really quickly, and turning around my samples within one day. Now THAT is customer service, ladies and gentlemen.
I'm going to add M&K to my list of project links.