Yes, Lonni, removing the vga=792 works around the problem.
I had tried to search for "8800 kernel bug", but didn't get any hits.
Now, After searching for "8800", I found this thread that also mentions
not using framebuffer consoles:
Thanks for the quick and accurate response.
If a future version of the nvidia linux drivers allows G80's to work with
framebuffer consoles, I hope that it gets mentioned in the release notes.