I've run the test as described in my previous posting.
Here's how it went:
1. Set SQL Server service to manual start.
2. Stop the server ungracefully (we actually just pulled the plug to make sure SQL Server would be unable to perform any shutdown operations)
3. Restart server and move northwind db files from normal location
4. Start SQL Server service (SQL reports Northwind database as suspect due to 'missing' files)
5. Drop suspect Northwind database
6. Copy Northwind DB files back to normal location
7. Execute sp_attach_db to recreate Northwind database.
The attach operation issued no complaint, and the database is once more available and passes all DBCC integrity checks.
Conclusion? It sure looks like the approach will work.
I suspect that MS does not explicitly support the sp_attach_db without a previous sp_detach_db because it may result in loss of transactional integrity if any transactions are in progress when the service goes down ungracefully.
It would appear that for a database that is being used for querying only (no data modifications underway), it is possible to reliably attach the database files to another server after the ungraceful failure of the SQL Server service.
Thanks to all!!!
Any opinions/additional experience is always welcome...