swapped out the ram, removed the new video card, pulled both hard drives and tried to boot of a cd.. nothing.
in verbose mode, the cd boot dies while loading Extensions.mkext.
So, I'll be taking it into the apple store this weekend.
And I will be unpleasant to anybody who suggests the third-party ram is to blame. Hi, been programming computers longer than you've know what one is, kid. Ram don't cause problems like this WHEN IT'S NOT INSTALLED IN THE MACHINE. And if putting 'inferior' ram into the system can damage the logic board, you have a SERIOUS design problem with your logic board.
Anyway, it's less than a year old, so it damned well better get fixed for free.