Thanks for the input, but I fixed the problem with a little more bold (STUPID?)approach. Since this is a computer I'm setting up with linux just to get more familiar with the OS, I'm not afraid to take some chances. The worse that can happen is I'll need to rebuild the OS, and that would be good experience anyway. What I discovered is at the 'no sync' video the machine would boot to, I could get the text console with a CTNL ALT F1. I logged in and found that there was a more reasonable looking /etc/xorg.conf.1 file than the system's xorg.conf, so I backed up the xorg.conf, and went for it. I cp'ed the .1 to xorg.conf, and voila, a working system.
Now if I launch the Desktop, everything is OK until I load the MythTV frontend. It obviously has a screen setting that is garbage because the desktop goes 'nasty' when it starts. I can halt that app, and the desktop reverts to normal. I'll try and figure out how to correct the Myth settings tomorrow.