Adam e-mailed me this, so I am preserving it here for posterity.
Since I've not actually found a use for Dashboard: $ defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
You need to restart the Dock.app (I just killed the process and it came right back.)
Once this is done, you can poof the dashboard app off your dock, as it now does nothing.
Note that this is per user setting, however I am happy, as Dashboard widgets wanted 35 or so megs of real RAM in default configuration.
As an aside, the only widget I were actually using was the weather, and it was talking to american weather site, that was giving me incorect information most of the time.