It happened off and on for a couple months: There were several keys that would sometimes be difficult to use and then sometimes go out altogether. (Ever tried to paste in periods at the end of sentences?) Ah, but then it would be fine again, completely fine.
When one of the afflicted keys would go out, they would all go out. When one of the afflicted keys would return, they would all return. I wondered if temperature changes were causing condensation. It appeared to be something more than dirt, and yet -- here's where the story starts to get strange -- I learned that it really liked the yellow cyber-slime I bought to clean it. I mean, it really liked it. I mean, those keys could be the cleanest ones on the whole keyboard, but if I took a moment to massage them with cyber-slime, voila, they worked again! Like magic! Over and over again, the trick worked. As odd as it sounds, it's no coincidence. It might take a few therapy sessions over the course of a day before the keyboard is ready to work smoothly for an extended period, but then things will really kick back in gear and it will be fine for a long time.
I am actually at a bit of a loss to explain this. Is something slightly warped or out of shape? Or... Well, I've heard that occupational therapists sometimes have some success using sensory materials to rewire the processing systems of children with autism or SPD. Whatever the underlying cause, it appeared that my netbook just needed a little occupational therapy.
Now here's something that relates (though it doesn't involve netbooks or cyber-slime). I've added quite a bit to it recently, and it's probably the best job I've done telling my own life story on a Squidoo lens or a webpage: Memoir of a Hyporesponsive Child