This weekend, my brother was in town and offered to help me with some house work. I took almost all of his aid in the form of wallpaper removal. I got some scrapers, a paper tiger, a few spray bottles, and two gallons of vinegar. As things stand now, the third floor is mostly depapered, except for some hard-to-reach areas high above the stairwell. I would say that on average, Steve was about ten times as productive as I was.
The walls are all plaster, and have two or three layers of wallpaper. None of them are peel-off, and there are lots of patches in the plaster where the scraper would happily dip in and make a nice gouge. Over the next few weeks, I hope I can get some of the last bits of paper and paste of the walls. Then it will be time to call in a contractor friend for help patching the walls in preparation for painting -- assuming the leak in the south wall has been closed by then!
I'm looking forward to making the third floor habitable. It will add a good three hundred square feet (or so) of space, and should eventually be a nice return when we sell the house.
The biggest lesson I've learned so far is: old wallpaper sucks.