It turns out that VMWare server installations are coupled quite closely with a particular kernel. This sounds sensible, after the fact, but all it really does is point out how shallow my *nix knowledge is in some areas.
Anyway, this fixed things just right, accepting all of the default options along the way:
Edited to fix spelling, and add that I had to repeat this exercise again after another Kernel upgrade 15/08/2008. Trivial after the last time, although still somewhat annoying.