Here is what I come to learn about my FX5200-based card and Debian - I'm playing with Debian for the first time and found out that it does not like my FX5200 video card! I keep getting the error that it can't find a screen and then I'm presented with a list of video cards using the 'nv' driver/module, whenever I try to start X. Of course my FX-5200 isn't on this list, as well as, I'm sure, neither is your's.
I have gone thrue the XF86Config-4 script with a fine-toothed comb and was sure it was correct. So, to answer the question once and for all, I pulled the FX5200 and inserted my old RIVA TNT2 card and Debian proceeded to boot right on to the login screen! Nope! It's not the card, it's the distro!
Now, my question is this - since I'm rather new to linux in general and brand new to Debian specifically, does Debian use a script/database of video cards and their divers/modules? I have found such a file in RH9 in /usr/share/hwdata/cards. If there is, could it be a simple matter of just adding the new nVidia-based cards to this list in order for the distro to 'see' the new cards? All of this has nothing to do with the NVIDIA 3D drivers, just the Debian built-in/included 'nv' driver/module.