This paper tests a dielectric model for variation of hydration free energy with geometry of complex solutes in water. It works out some basic aspects of the theory of boundary integral methods for these problems. One aspect of the algorithmic discussion lays the basis for multigrid methods of solution, methods that are likely to be necessary for similarly accurate numerical solution of these models for much larger solutes. Other aspects of the algorithmic work show how macroscopic surfaces such as solution interfaces and membranes may be incorporated and also show how these methods can be transferred directly to periodic boundary conditions. This dielectric model is found to give interesting and helpful results for the variation in solvation free energy with solute geometry. However, it typically significantly over-stabilizes classic attractive ion-pairing configurations. On the basis of the examples and algorithmic considerations, we make some observations about extension of this continuum model incrementally to reintroduce molecular detail of the solvation structure.