I used the ``rsync -auv'' command so that in the unlikely event the new computer had a newer file, it would be left alone (the `-u' option). Below, let bh denote the backup host (my server) and let bd denote the backup directory on that host (such as /Backups/MacBookPro).
sudo tcsh rsync -av bh:bd/Users/me/ /Users/me mkdir /opt rsync -av bh:bd/opt/ /opt mkdir /usr/local rsync -av bh:bd/usr/local/ /usr/local rsync -auv bh:bd/Library/ /Library rsync -auv bh:bd/Applications/ /Applications rsync -auv bh:bd/Developer/ /Developer
After the above copies, I updated the Mac itself in the usual way (Software Update in the Apple menu) and redid misc. configuration items described in §8, such as adjusting my shell, making caps-lock ctrl, and setting various defaults with dwrite.
The above is a bit conservative (avoiding most system-file copying), but since there was about a two-year difference in the hardware age, I did not want to simply do ``rsync -auv bh:bd/ /,'' even though I think it should probably work .