<pause to pet cat>
I converted my root partition to RAID0 (striping for speed) today. First I moved everything to one of the spare 80G drives, reset the /etc/fstab and GRUB config to get it to boot properly, and rebooted. GRUB (the boot loader) wasn't changed properly, but due to it's super magical command line editing capabilities, it was easy to boot into my "new" drive.
I then made sure everything was ok, backed up my spare 20G (which was my FTP drive, and was going to be a device in the RAID array) onto the new root and then repartitioned and created the array.
All that went dandy, so I rebooted again to make sure all was well and then started copying files over to the new root (/dev/md0). After about 480megs things froze up with an ugly kernel panic and I had to reboot. Of course, my old bootable partition was changed now, so it wouldn't boot. Mondo to the rescue as a boot disk, which let me boot up, with my own kernel with RAID compiled in, and I was back in business. Got the drives where they should be, and copied again. This time all went without a hitch. Finished, reset /etc/fstab and GRUB again and reboot. Somehow the numbering of the drives had changed, so grub bitched at me, but that was easily fixed, and I'm now in my new RAID0 partition, which has everything on it, including the stuff destined for the RAID5 array (which will be able to withstand any errors in hardware).
So now that all is well, or seems to be anyway, so I'll be blowing away things and creating a big ass partition and moving data, home, code, and all the important things onto it. Things are actually working! Yay!
Oh, and good wishes out to Tig about the you know what with the you know what. T'will all work out.