No cigar Neal. I think this must be a peculiarity of this laptop. The last splash "Bull" was off-set a little less to the right, but still had the side bars. I have access to another widescreen HP laptop, with PCLinuxOS 2010.1 installed, that displays the menu screen correctly. I'll try the files from that laptop as soon as I can get to them. Thanks for the extended effort Neal, I really appreciate it.
Could another file, perhaps, be the culprit? Seems that every file we've tried still resulted in black bands at the sides, on matter how wide.