The new plan I was going to try to start quickly before work was to use the possibly dying IDE drive as simply the boot (and maybe swap) and set the two SATA drives up as a RAID 1 pair. So, I deleted the data on them (its now in at least 2 other places, one on a different box) and tried to configure them as RAID under SUSE -- no go. Next I tried using the hardware/BIOS setting for the adapter. After that, I got a GRUB error when I tried to boot on the hard drive, and no boot from my DVD drive.
So I'm suspecting that my DVD drive just died in the middle of this, and I'm still not back to work.
Remember, this means that my e-mail is still questionable. I should be able to see it off of oakes.net (which seems to be saving as well as forwarding) but its been a bit weird as well.