I've tried everything you can imagine and still can't boot this machine.
-I modified the grub.cfg to give me time to select different kernels (default wouldn't show me the grub loading screen), none worked including all the 'recovery' editions.
-I removed "silent" and "splash" from the boot command lines. Click 'e' when highlighting a kernel, CTRL+X once edited, no luck.
-I took initrd.img-2.6.32-22-generic & vmlinuz-2.6.32-22-generic from another machine put them in /boot and tried to boot from them.
-I played with /etc/fstab to boot from the UUID versus /dev/sda1, neither worked.
-I tried holding 'Shift' while booting which I suppose was going to give me grub options...instead a green screen popped up and the computer froze.
-I joined launchpad.net and this bug appears to be my issue: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/572279
only problem is the bug won't be fixed because it's too generic of an error.
I'm probably going to look into virtualization that way once you have a working machine you can always revert back to that 'snapshot'.