OK. So let's assess. Help me out.
The timing belt is tight. Turning the motor by hand both cams align with the marks on the caps, the crank pin is on the P/F mark (My '92 has M, a P/F, and an R marks), and the distributor rotor is roughly aligned with the score mark on the body, which also aligns with the #1 plug wire. The plug wires are in order - 1-4-2-5-3-6 going clockwise, and are attached to the correct plug. The distributor is sending signal to the ignition amplifier and will fire the injectors and spark plugs when turned by hand (not seated in the engine). The fuel pressure is correct, as per the permanent gauge on the feed line. The pump, filter and pressure regulator are new. I've swapped the AFM, the ECU, the ignition amp, the ignition coil, and the distributor for know-good parts, in various combinations. The battery is charged to 12.7 volts and rises to ~14 during the brief moments the car will run. I have replaced all of the fuses and cleaned and tightened all of the springy connectors in the fuse box. I have removed, inspected, cleaned, and reinstalled every connector on the back of the fuse box. I have cleaned and tightened every ground connection. Compression in all six cylinders is fine (all within 10% of one another). Spark plug wires are new (I've gone back to the old wires twice, in case the new set is defective). Coil wire is new. Spark plugs are new-ish and gapped to ~.35 mm. I've tried hotwiring the fuel pump. I've swapped the combo-relay. I've bypassed the inertia switch. I've checked continuity of every wire that's testable at the ECU harness. I've tested and/or replaced every sensor and every connector, testing continuity to ensure they'll work. I've gone through the L-Jet tuneup guide a dozen times. I've tried starter fluid. I've disconnected the cold start injector. I've pulled the fuel rail and checked the injectors. The plugs are wet though, indicating the spark isn't burning the gas that's being injected. But there is spark - I've seen it. Somehow the timing is just off and I can't fix it.
Consequently, the car won't run for more than 10 seconds. It sputters, coughs, chokes, backfires, shudders, and dies. Touch the throttle and it dies instantly. Move the distributor and it dies instantly.
I'm going to walk away from the thing for a month or so, try not to think about it at all, and either have an epiphany or decide to drag it to a shop and part with the $2,000 estimated to just diagnose the problem.
I really am at a point where I don't know what else to do without ripping out every piece of wire, building a new harness, and installing a brand new ignition system, or just replacing the engine. I'm really, truly out of ideas. I'm just repeating things I've already tried.
Ugh. Just... ugh.
as good as a car can be... briefly.