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Two additional things I can think of:
1 - verify your install media by running an md5sum on the CD and your downloaded image and verify them against the official sums.
2 - This is a x86_64 OS. This is probably a dumb question, but are you using a 64 bit capable system?
ACPI is a set of a set of power management functions and features. See this wikipedia link for info. Unfortunately, it is also something that appears to have been poorly implemented in terms of standardization and this causes a lot of trouble for the end user as you have just witnessed.
I doubt it for the most part. You may have issues with things like suspend to ram or hibernate or variable fan control. As far as operational stuff, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Your system specs, though, look like it is a fairly modern system so it kind of surprises me that ACPI would cause you problems.
Here is a link to a site on Linux and ACPI. I didn't review if fully, but it may help to explain what some of the functions (that you disabled) do.
I have a follow up question to this thread. Do you have the option to boot using different kernels? I ask because a kernel panic on boot often times indicates that there is a missing module. Re-reading your initial post, you indicated that it installed correctly, which I assume was running a copy of RHEL6 when it did so. Based upon my experience with other distributions, typically the initial install will use a kernel version with a lot of extra stuff compiled in because one never knows what hardware it will find. Part of the installation process is to load a "generic" kernel that doesn't have these modules. An initram image is then added to the boot process to bring the modules required for your particular hardware. If you don't have all the modules, a kernel panic will ensue. This is quite common, for example, in Slackware with EXT4 drives - one must use the huge kernel and make an appropriate initram image. In Slackwre, this is the user's responsibility. Undoubtedly Red Hat does the same thing, just automatically for you.
What I am getting at is if you can load a full / huge kernel and that works fine, then you may be able to re-make the correct module add-on for your system and restore the ACPI functionality.