I confirm this bug. It is not an Ubuntu problem. It is not a BIOS problem. It is a GLX 1.0.9639 driver bug. Something went horribly wrong from 1.0.8776 to 1.0.9639.
I compile kernel.org and nVidia from source. I am using the right versions of everything. I do not use your shell script, I use Debian packages.
188.8.131.52 (my build, Intel x86 32-bit)
GeForce3 rev 163
1.0.9639 via Debian's packages,
184.108.40.206-dfsg-7 (stock Debian)
Debian's bugzilla shows assorted problems (all driver versions).
I do not have any of the "file missing" or "typo" problems. Those relate to your shell script. I use Debian's build system. Everything is in order. I build my own kernel module for my kernel. Your closed binary blob is the problem.
To evade the bug, I disable GLX in xorg.conf. I mean literally the "Disable" keyword. Then at least KDE/Gnome work, just without GLX. RenderAccel is also TRUE and seems to work.
Similar bugs reported for 100.14.xx suggest common GLX bugs in 100.14.xx and 1.0.9639. However I only confirm 1.0.9639.
Previously I used 1.0.8776 in kernel 2.6.18.x without problems. I've used this board in Windows and Linux. It always worked before. This is a driver bug. It is not a hardware bug or a firmware/BIOS bug.
There is no obvious place on nVidia.com to get the latest nVidia BIOS. There are only driver downloads. Please offer a section for BIOS downloads. You always ask if people have the latest BIOS, but don't put BIOS downloads on your site. If you mean motherboard BIOS, that's really a stretch. You're looking in the wrong place. The first place to look is the most recent code changes.
Sometimes 1.0.9639 corrupted the X log file during the crash. When it did not, the last line was loading GLX, so that's when the crash happens. It's either loading GLX or initializing GLX.
It hangs at the logo screen which is shown all crunched up, because mode timings are wrong. If I use "NoLogo" in xorg.conf, it just hangs with a blank screen. In any case the machine needs a hard reset.
My monitor is flat panel BUT I use KVMs and VGA cables, so it is a "CRT" callout for the driver. The KVM means I *do not* want EDID. I hard-coded monitor specs into xorg.conf and don't want your driver second-guessing them across a KVM. (Unfortunately your driver does not respect my DPI, another problem.)
I will not spend more time sending logs, filling out forms, etc. Sorry. This buggy driver has cost us a week.
Anyway, you have enough data to reproduce the bug from me and everyone else. I have read all the other reports.
You need more help? OK. Then send 6-7 free boards to Debian, Ubuntu, and RedHat, 1-2 for each driver version you offer. These three distributions are the basis for most others. Of course Ubuntu itself derives from Debian.