I appreciate your help, setenv02, but, for some reason, my hosts file appears to have been deleted. Thankfully, it's now fixed.
For your hostname, you can put anything you like as long as it is not the name of a fully qualified domain name on the web. I only put the "lan" bit because there isn't a domain on the net that ends in that name. You could even just use "localhost.localdomain" as your host name and it should still work fine.
I see - the .lan suffix is like .com except .lan doesn't exist? Out of curiosity, what would happen if I used a qualified domain like localhost.amazon or localhost.linuxquestions?