my problem fixed.
ok.... i think i've figured out my problem. My specific problem seems to be with the ConnectedMonitor option.
I figured this out my trying to configure each monitor individually, including as many config options as i could.... for some reason, specifying CRT as the connectedMonitor option for my connected CRT does NOT work. It causes my CRT to go blank, and the screen NEVER comes back, even it i sucessfully CTRL-C out of startx and am able to blindly shutdown linux.
so, my connected monitor line is now:
Option "ConnectedMonitor" ",DFP"
again, no idea why this works, but it does. I'll attach my full config file again as i'm running right now if it would help anyone....