Before I talk about the electronics driving the light bulbs, let me first talk about the sockets. You might not guess the most expensive part of the project would be the sockets, but they actually were. The bulbs I was able to get from here
for about $1.90 a piece (they were cheaper when I bought them). The sockets I got from grand brass for about $2.50 a piece. Although sockets are a fairly common thing, they're not as cheap as you might guess, and it was difficult finding any that could be mounted in any way to a panel as well as having a fairly low profile. In fact, it wasn't until stumbling across these that I was even able to move forward with the project.
Anyways, the sockets have two connections for the electrical. One side on all the bulbs is connected all the way back to mains connection. The other side is connected to a relay (see next step), which is connected to the other side of the mains. So essentially all the light bulbs are connected in parallel, which is really the only way to do this.
Since the sockets had screw terminals for the connection, I used the obvious choice of crimp connectors to connect to them, which also saved some time on the wiring. (Anytime you can use crimp connectors you should, they're easy and reliable!)