In a strange bit of synchronicity, this morning I applied gel to towel-dried hair instead of wet hair. And a couple of hours later, somebody on the boards at naturallycurly.com said they'd done the same thing.
And we both got great results. (Sorry about no photo -- I really have a terrible time capturing my hair on film. It never looks as good as it does in real life. I don't know if it's the lighting or that I have dark hair, but no photo has yet been really accurate. Oh, except for this one.)
So, I think this is an approach I'm going to try more often. My hair's been dry for 11 hours and I still have great curls and no frizz. Woo hoo!