The not starting this was traced back to the ignition switch itself:
Nothing like a glass of pinot with a 30 year old worn out bmw electrical switch. Too bad these parts don't get better with age. This one is definitely on its last legs, there is also a crack in the outside, and the keyed slot is fairly worn down:
The switch worked except for the start position. Accessory and on would work and tested ok, but if you push it forward, nothing. And the start position was pretty vague too, not the spring loaded feel you'd expect. I looked around online, and this part is $100-$120 new (part # 61321372931). That seems a bit excessive, so I tried to take it apart. Well, parts went everywhere. For those that do this and want to get all the pieces back inside correctly, here is what it should look like:
After cleaning it up, removing the old dielectric grease and putting it back together, it seems to test OK now. The start feel is still off, however. Well, if this fails, I'm going to slap a new start switch somewhere, unless I happen to run across a better switch for less than the new price.