Seredipity! My nixies came in today, and at the same time I ran across a couple of those lighting kits for cars...the kind with a neon tube that you attach to your 12v cigaret lighter.
So some judicous use of screwdriver and scissors, and I cut out the 12 volt cord and transformer. Connect up one end to my little 0-24V power supply, and then the other end to the tube, and we have ignition!
Will definitely try to bring em over to the next meeting. I still need to figure out how to work the magic eyes,