Hi and thanks for all the help. I tried nouveau once already and it generated that huge file I posted!
But reading through it I think that vesa may have been in the way. So, as we speak, I am reinstalling and going to try the nouveau install.
My next question is this >> how do I adjust nouveau's settings (specifically, the screen resolution) since there is no xorg.conf file.
Also, I am worried that even nouveau won't play with my newer video card. I found this on a ubuntu site:
"By default Ubuntu will use the open source video driver called Nouveau for your NVIDIA graphics card. This driver lacks support for 3D acceleration and may not work with the very latest video cards
or technologies from NVIDIA.
oh well, one last try I guess.