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I wanted to build the classic web page that turns on and off an L.E.D. My plan was to use one of the Atmega line of micro-controllers with an enc28j60, which seems to be a popular solution to this sort of thing. However, there is one complication.

I wanted it to work over wireless (this would ultimately be used to monitor some hydroponics in a non-commercial environment. Maybe control a modified remote control helicopter, for kicks?)

I was going to use a RJ45 to wifi adapter, but frankly, I'm having some trouble working out the details. (Let's assume I can power it.) Is using an RJ45 to wifi in stack with an Ethernet controller really a good way of doing creating a wireless embedded server or is there another well-documented chip my googling and forum browsing hasn't realized?

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Your "RJ45 to wifi adapter" could be just cheap WiFi access point.

If you want WiFi only then ESP8266 modules are very popular recently thanks to their price. They can be used as sort of AT-based modem connected to AVR (I've used it like this in weather station, it used roughly 8kB FLASH memory with SHT11, floating point and some logging) or standalone (without external MCU, e.g. running script-based application).

If you'd like to stay with cable you may also want to look at PIC18F67J60 - this is equivalent of ENC28J60 and PIC18 in one chip. Cons: requires pickit2+ programmer, limited FLASH endurance and same as ENC28J60 high current consumption.

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