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I am stunned to say the least. All the elements are in place, I cannot see any reason why the regular ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-96.43.19-pkg1.run shoudln't work. No reason why make install shouldn't work. This is looking more and more like one of those fixes that only a reinstall can resolve.
Back to basics. Let's have another attempt at getting the display to work using basic drivers. In sequence can you edit your XF86Config-4 file and try these one at a time in the driver section under the heading Section "Device". vesa, vga, nv. After each change, run startx. Let me know what error (if any) is reported for each one.
It would have been nice to have nailed this one. I am tempted to say run XFree86 -configure again and try to configure a new XF86Config file. This machine is some piece of work, sorry after all this we couldn't get the result we wanted. Are you ok with doing a reinstall? My advice would be if you only use this machine for accessing the printer. Install the system as basic as you need. No point in installing services you won't need. When you get the system up and running again, backup the XF86Config file. Also think about installing Mandriva 2005. Graphics cards are better supported and if memory serves it uses Xorg instead of XFree.
You've shown great patience throughout this. I hope the reinstall is a much smoother experience.