After applying a patch similar to what "pavlinux" provided to deal with the "owner" member of "struct proc_dir_entry" going away, both 96.43.10 and 96.43.11 build, but neither works. At the point where the logfile says "(II) NVIDIA(0): Initialized GART." (last entry in the log), the console goes blank and cannot be recovered without rebooting. The keyboard and the rest of the system still function, so it's possible to reboot blindly and/or login remotely to accomplish the reboot. 96.43.10 worked fine up through kernel version 2.6.29, and I didn't try the early release candidates of 2.6.30 so I'm assuming the problems started with -rc2.
Looking forward to 96.43.12 when 2.6.30-final is released, but if there's a beta I can try in the meantime, I'd be willing to give it a go.
System is a K6-III/450 on a Tyan S1590S motherboard with a NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 card: old, but reliable -- kinda like its owner