Light brown/ tan and dry is about as good as you get!
The spark test does refer to how much total length you can coax out of the ignition system. It's a test of both coil output and secondary ignition system integrity, getting the spark all the way out to the plugs. A burned-out coil wire or a spark "leak" along the way will reduce available spark at the end.
First off, I'm no fan of voltage. Getting hit with several thousand volts doesn't seem to bother a few guys I know in the business, but it's not my idea of a good time. For that reason, I'll describe my sissy-method for spark testing.
Select an easy plug wire, pull it off the spark plug and insert a small pocket screwdriver into the open end, wedging it between the metal clasp and the outer boot. This holds the tool in place and extends the circuit outside the boot area.
Place the screwdriver within an inch or so of a good ground source (not wiring) and start the engine if it'll cooperate today. If not, an assistant may be needed to crank the engine while you proceed...
The idle will be a bit rough and might shake the plug wire around, so pick it up about four inches above boot and move it around the ground source to get an idea what the system is capable of. A half-inch is bare minimum... this should do something better than that; maybe 3/4 inch.
If it doesn't look good, try another plug wire. This one might be burned out or there could be a carbon track in the cap that limits voltage at the firing end.
If spark seems weak, you might snoop around and check to see if there are visible spark leaks along the way... things like a coil wire that's rubbed through. Consistently weak spark would have me checking the coil directly, using a test light connected to ground as my ground source. Someone else will have to crank the engine for this test.
If you have a digital ohmmeter, set it to 20K if you need to test the coil wire or any plug wires. Any continuity shown on the 20K scale checks OK, an open circuit does not.
If spark looks OK through the whole system, I think we need to revisit the fuel system. Your description of a dry spark plug surprises me a bit... I was expecting to see at least a little fuel dampness. Try a bit MORE fuel down the throttle body to see if it makes a difference. The way the intake plenum is set up on this engine makes it just about impossible to pick up liquid fuel when dropped down the throat. Fuel is gonna crash on the plenum floor and will have to evaporate before it can be drawn into the cylinders, not an easy task on cold, damp days. Air can hold only so much stuff in suspension
and if it's already loaded with water, most of the space is already used up.
Starting fluid gets around that problem due to its much greater volatility, but it carries the burden of false results. Ether can ignite by compression only (like a diesel), so it can actually fire an engine without spark.
If your fuel pump is to blame, it sounds like it might be in a state that we can revive it, if only briefly.
Have someone crank the engine while you pound on the bottom-center of the tank. Consistent power is supplied to the pump only when the PCM sees a rotation signal, which is why you have to have the starter grinding at the time. Worn out fuel pumps can often be persuaded to work ONE MORE TIME by using this method, but it can't be used for anything much more than diagnostic purposes... that pump can never be trusted to get you anywhere again.
OK, that should keep you busy for a bit! I'd actually try the pump-thump first if possible at this point. It's quick, easy and doesn't straighten your hair!
I hope this post comes out OK... JA has been having problems with HTML code coming through in the text and I won't have time to edit it right away if it does. My apologies if you have to slog through gibberish before I get back...