Hi to all you Guys and thanks for your remarks... I'll take them in turn:
Wedgetail: not sure what you're suggesting here... should I type out the commands in #1 to see what happens? And NO, I'm a complete philistine with bash consoles... DOS is bad enough!
In #2 I did already look in my /boot directory for any clues, but then again I haven't a clue what I expected to see (bear with me here, I've still got my 'L' plates on with Linux!).
#3 no, my data is shared on a FAT32 partition completely separate to Linux, I put my Linux/home also on a separate partition so as not to loose my configurations and tweaks so if the worst comes to the worst I can re-install root from my liveCD.
Dragynn: sounds like you've been where I am now; so how do you "roll back" to the previous kernel from a crashed system which was what I asked Tex?
Neal: yeah that's what I thought, but how the hell do you do that when there's no option to boot into vesa mode? I only see that on a liveCD and in fact that was one of the first things I learned about PCLOS when I was trying it out... wouldn't boot into the default till I found subsequently about the issues with NVidia cards and drivers!
Wow, the learning curves keep on coming... there's so much to know!
Thanks to all of you!