Thanks for those leads, Rex. The examples you point me to are definitely in the same spirit. I've seen, too, that the bootstrap-based Clean theme is doing something with aligning icons vertically.
One of my goals is to keep the icons in their own column. With longer (or indented) content I think it's important that the icons don't get pushed out of line or wrapped around. For me this involves putting the icons on the left. Putting them on the right presents a problem: If you put them to the far right, then they may be far away from short lines of content that they correspond to. If you put them more toward the center then longer lines will cause trouble. You have either to bump the icons over or wrap the content lines in a very restricted space.
Here is a screenshot to illustrate my solution: