That sounds like a most illogical problem to me. So here's something that may or may not be illogical to try. It's the only thing I can think of (being a newbie-to-intermediate user); try temporarily disabling /etc/rc.d/rc.acpi from starting up.
Do you get any other message along with the Kernel Panic?
Another unusual possibility just ocurred to me. Would this happen if you had your monitor off when you turned on your computer and booted with your monitor still turned off? (Since you said you would be using it for a file server).
I know exactly what you mean about those itches though...
Or try swapping monitors. If anything else, you'll have more info that you have now, it sounds like.
That is definitely unusual!