OK, figured this out after a lot of frustration. The recovery partition basically includes the files for a WinPE bootdisk, the executable file for Norton Ghost 11, and the Ghost disk images themselves.
With this in mind, I tried to run the Ghost32.exe file on another Windows XP computer, thinking I could restore the image to the new netbook drive plugged in externally to a SATA-to-USB converter, but Ghost wouldn't open due to a conflict with the version of advapi.dll in XP SP3. Unfortunately, I didn't have any Pre-SP3 computers around and didn't care to downgrade any.
I also couldn't turn the WinPE files from the recovery partition into a bootable environment on a USB or CD/DVD for the life of me, but I was able to download Bart's PE Builder to make a bootable environment from a Windows 2003 install disk -- all of our XP computers are OEM, which doesn't seem to work with Bart's. The first PE disk I made with Bart's would boot OK from a USB CD-ROM drive plugged into the Eee-PC, but couldn't find the new hard drive. Neither diskpart nor dskchk from the Bart's menu would locate the new drive.
To fix this, I downloaded the SATA Drivers for the Eee-PC 1005HAB from here, and unzipped and placed the entire folder (called 'AHCI') in the pebuilder disk drivers directory (c:\pebuilder3110a\drivers\SCSIAdapter), where it was automatically included in the next build. I also placed the ghost.exe in its own folder whose path I entered in the 'Custom' area of the pebuilder GUI, so I could include the ghost program on the disk. I built the ISO and burned it to a CD, booted the Eee-PC from the external USB CD drive, and the BartPE environment now found the disk and let me create a primary partition on it with diskpart.
Next, I opened the A43 file explorer from the Bart's menu and located the ghost32.exe file on the CD and ran it. Ghost opened fine, and I chose to restore 'Disk' > 'From Image', and browsed to a USB thumbdrive to which I had previously copied the Ghost images form the recovery partition ('1005HA_ENG_WinXP_02.06.08_2010.01.06.GHO' and '1005HA_ENG_WinXP_02.06.08_2010.01.06.001'). I selected the .GHO file, accepted the partitions and sizes Ghost said it would create on the drive and started the recovery. After about 10-15 minutes, it completed, I rebooted the netbook and unplugged the external drives, and it booted into a new XP installation. Since I replaced the failed drive with a larger one, I merged the space left over with the 'D' drive.
Hope this helps someone else.