"Nothing had worked
" meant that the resulting text files were filled with non-ascii gibberish and bore no resemblance to the pdf file.
In fact, pdftohtml works just fine. Trouble is, it's an executable. A condition I did not mention in the original post, was that this needs to be done by a script within a website's CGI directory. The server is configured not to allow the running of executables in cgi-bin. I do not have admin rights on the server and can not change this.
So, more specifically, I am looking for a perl based solution to this problem.