The Short Version: I needed to re-install OS X Lion on a system after formatting the standard partition. The install process required downloading the software from Apple first but it was blocked by network authentication. Requesting a temporary lifting of network restrictions for this system provided me with enough time to complete the download.
I needed to format a MacBook Pro that came with OS X Lion (10.7). My assumption was that the process would work the same as with disc-based installs.
The usual saying about assumptions applies.
The system didn’t have any problems at the beginning. I formatted the primary partition by booting to the recovery partition. Then, I let it begin the installation process by downloading the latest version of 10.7. I thought everything was working fine.
However, after I returned I discovered that the download had failed.