There is an issue with recent 2.6 kernels and some ATA/SATA controllers which I have run into while trying to install both CentOS 5 and Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). Initially, even the boot CD would not work from the builtin DVD reader. To boot the first time I used an external USB DVD.
The relevant error was "failed to set xfermode".
for more info.
Essentially you need to add irqpoll to the linux boot line. You can do this, after install, by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst and adding irqpoll to the #defoptions line. At the the end of the install process before rebooting open a terminal and do a "chroot /target /bin/sh". Then cd to /boot/grub and edit menu.lst.
If you do not have a USB cdrom available see this post about passing kernel options to grub on boot:http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/03/21/using-grub-to-overcome-boot-problems/
Since I had a USB drive available I did not have to do this.