Comment 220 for bug 417757

My bad. It looks like what I described above is covered by this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nss-mdns/+bug/94940

Editing /etc/nsswitch.conf and changing

   hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4

to

   hosts: files dns

looks like it "fixes" this issue.