I think you hit on a lot of great points here - I was 9 when I wrote my first AppleSoft BASIC programs on an Apple IIe on loan from my school. Prompting for input and doing simple arithmetic with somebody's age was ok, but the thing that had me hooked was writing a looping program that drew random boxes and lines in random colors on the screen indefinitely. The thing that really made that great was that at the time (1990-ish) those text prompts and colored lines and boxes weren't visually that far from "state of the art" games like Oregon Trail. It made me feel that at 9 years old, I wasn't that far from mastering all that a computer could do. Nowadays, the bar is set much higher. Kids grow up with Playstation 3 games that are rendered in near-lifelike detail with speech and making the mental jump from your first dozen-line program to something like that is just huge. I've been writing web/DB business applications for 7 years now as part of my job (and have been a computer geek for more than 20 years) and even I have a hard time grasping what goes into creating an A-list console game. The rift between a first program and something useful and/or impressive has unfortunately grown exponentially along with Moore's Law and that spark of inspiration that so many of us experienced in the early stages of personal computing is becoming more and more elusive.
So after my long nostalgic diatribe, my real contribution to the conversation is this: Give them a crash course on HTML (tags, links, styles, etc.) and using input from the class, collaboratively build a simple webpage. Include a photo of the class, a link or two, some student-chosen colors or font style elements, and **publish it to the web, giving the students the link to show their friends and family**. If they can go home to mom and dad and say "hey, look what I helped to make!" I think you have a pretty good chance of inspiring at least a few of them to explore more.