Bob & friends were tasty!
The final verdict: Bob and his little friends were darned tasty little birds.
However, their triumphant arrival on the dinner table was marred by equipment failure: first my digital thermometer, which just stopped working, then the entire oven, which decided that temperatures over 250F were really unnecessary and it just wasn't going to do that anymore. So while the breasts on Bob and friends (and the stuffing, somehow, according to the thermometer before it bailed) got nicely cooked, the legs had to be removed and placed directly against the cast iron pan in order to finish and the bacon covering them never crisped up. So I wasn't able to serve beautiful-looking whole birds, but even served in pieces, they were delicious - intense, lovely clean chicken flavour. They were, as expected, a wee bit on the chewy side, but not excessively so.
Were they worth the effort? Probably not. But it was a good exercise, and the result was entirely edible. In the end I could never have really passed them off as quail though, because they were very, very chicken-y tasting.
Now their bones are gently simmering away in what should be a good stock, and we will have Bob & Co., part deux sometime as soup.