Have the same problem.
Toshiba Satellite 2800-500.
That craps turned me crazy for a while.
The only remedy for that is momentarily edit the /etc/rc.sysinit file, commenting out with #
all the lines after the text (comment):
# other ducks & covers
just three or four lines...
I think there is a problem with the firewire controller that hangs the system.
Don't forget also to disable pcmcia service.
FOR ME there was the second point with kudzu where the system hangs!!
Let me know if you have found another solution that works.
You knows we say
Two brains works better than one.