Details for those that care about these things:
The problems indeed stemmed from a boot-loader (LILO) issue. After testing integrity of the software RAID array (yah...software.
) and the actual physical disks/controller, we came to the conclusion that the firmware repository was safe.
. An fsck
was run, for those that fear file-structure/inode damage. Long story short, a disk flip here, a reinstalled LILO-strap there, and its all happening again. ^_^