Not sure why, but the 2.6.28 kernel does not get along well with my Everex Stepnote Via C7 laptop. When booting, it freezes when it starts to load the manual modules. Duh, I think I just figured it out. I'm checking my /etc/modules file now:
acpi cpufreq_conservative fuse lp via-rng padlock-aes padlock-sha cryptosoft ocf cryptodev
I must have custom compiled the 2.6.24 kernel I'm using now to include the cryptosoft / ocf modules. Still, the system shouldn't freeze like it is. Right - I just checked and the 2.6.24 kernel that works isn't custom. It still boots without being able to load those extra modules. I'll shelve this issue for now.