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As you say, a corrupted bootloader appears to be the problem.

If I re-flash the bootloader, then upload the precompiled hex files, I see the Marlin splash screen followed by the familiar temps and status info. However, when I power cycle the ender 3, I get a blank screen again, and the bootloader appears to have become corrupted.

Which bootloader hex do you use? I've been using https://github.com/MCUdude/optiboot_flash/blob/master/bootloaders/atmeg…

I tried flashing the precompiled hex with progisp, but while that wrote and verified the flash, I still got a blank screen

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