First, thanks to everyone who left comments and links to yesterday's bleg.
Second, the common theme to the comments (and even the links to recipes that people pointed out) was really helpful: if you're thinking chicken fried steak, think chicken fried chicken. That was the breakthrough.
And so the breading was decent and the spicing was pretty good. The pepper gravy was a first for us, Yankee born and bred (to our chagrin). Tasty, though. Man, you need a lot of pepper in the pepper gravy (and a lot of salt, too).
But the cube steak was not so great. Next time I'll take the advice of one of the recipes (Stephen's link in the comment to that post): use good steak cut to one half inch thickness. Yeah, you may need a steak knife* but unless you do the low temperature braise in the oven variant, you'll need it anyway. And Jason VanLanduyt points out (again in the comments) that cooking chicken fried steak in the oven is a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois. All I can add is that it might get me deported from Georgia, and I'd have to go live in Yankeeland. That would make me sad.