Thanks for the great response. You are absolutely correct that I
should have indicated the OS. It is Solaris 10 on a Sparc machine,
running Firefox 11.
I had tried to look in about:config before posting, but stupidly did
not think to filter on the word "focus". The two options you mention:
do both seem like likely candidates. However, changing either or both
to true did not affect the behavior of the browser.
So, does anyone else have any idea of what it takes to get Firefox to
obey focus-on-pointer for all text fields, including the URL bar?