All I want to do is get a public key (I'll immediately encrypt/archive the private key or wallet.dat). I'll probably never touch it again. Anyone know the quickest/easiest way to do this? I would prefer Windows instructions.
Start the namecoin client and it will generate a wallet.dat. You can pull addresses out of it with 'namecoind getnewaddress'. You don't even need to download the block chain to do this.
The last I heard namecoin didn't have a gui, you have to interact with it on the command line.