I think I figured out ALL of my past kernel problems. You have to rerun lilo after every kernel recompile. I usually just leave a /boot/bzImage as a test image and have an entry in lilo that reflects that. Well if that file changes you have to rerun lilo to put it in the MBR. I never knew that! Now that I've done that I can get my kernel 2.4.3 to boot like a charm. The only problem I have now is I can't find iptables to run masquerading.