SIMILAR ISSUE and how I fixed it:
I compiled a 2.6.12 kernel from source, but forgot to add in-kernel (NOT Module) support for Framebuffer Console (in the drivers->video section of menuconfig). When I rebooted, I got a blank screen of death but the HD was pedaling, indicating that the Penguins were there, just that they couldn't be seen.
Fix: I rebooted to an older (working) kernel, enabled Framebuffer Console support, recompiled the kernel, rebooted, and my two Tuxes were there to smile upon me.
P-4 3.0GHz HT Enabled
1.5GB PC3200 DDR (512-256-512-256 in Dual-Channel config)
nVidia GeForce 5900 128MB AGP
2 x Seagate 300GB HD
Slackware 10.1 with updates
2.6.11.whatever compiled from source (Soon to be 188.8.131.52)