In case you're still struggling with this, and in case someone might be able to help me, here's what I found.
I've still got 8.04 on a different partition, so I went there and opened the xorg.conf from 8.10 to change the driver back to "vesa", hoping that would fix the scrambled graphics and let me log in. Only the driver was already set to "vesa". (And yes, I'm sure this was the right xorg.conf, the one belonging to 8.04 already has the 9.3 driver working perfectly).
So, I went to /usr/src/modules and deleted the fglrx folder, restarted the comp and voila.... nothing changed.
This leaves me a bit puzzled as I figured what I just did should have removed the driver. And the only time I ever got those scrambled graphics was after the two times I tried installing the ATI 9.3 drivers and restarted. So if it's not the driver, what is it? Or if it is the driver, what more can I do to get rid of it?