Did two things today: upgraded to a Dell Latitude E6510 (from a Latitude E5400), and fixed X on a desktop.
The laptop upgrade went pretty straightforward. I installed Jaunty on E6510, then backed up the system on E5400, excluding system specific directories. Then I restored it to E6510. Upon rebooting, GRUB gave me an error 15: File not found. At that point I realized that I should have excluded /boot. Now I've whacked the working menu.lst. The problem was with UUID it turned out. After I booted into Live CD, then fixed menu.lst with the true UUID of the new hard drive (found by ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid), it booted up fine.
The booted Ubuntu had no GUI though. X said device not found. I fiddled a while with xorg.conf, then decided to just download NVIDIA installer. That fixed the problem in a jiffy. After that it was pretty much smooth sailing. The only problems I had were a corrupt TrueCrypt volume (probably because I was using it when tar did its backup), which I simply re-copied, and VirtualBox complained about not being able to start network, which was fixed by merely opening the network settings tab on VMs and clicking OK.
The desktop computer has Jaunty x64. Its X broke down right about I struggled with Intel Matrix Storage. Not sure if it's related, since the Linux drive was a completely separate one from Windows ones. Anyways, X just errorred out with "unable to initialize PCS database". I didn't deal with it for a while. Today inspired by the success with NVIDIA, I decided to go the same route with this computer's HD 4670s. I downloaded ati-driver-installer-10-5-x86.x86_64.run from AMD. Ran it, and then "sudo aticonfig --initial -f". Restarted, held my breath, and I got my desktop back!
People loved to hate the big 2 GPU companies for their Linux support. But today, I just have to tip my hat.