Figured I'd put this here in case anyone else runs in to the same problem. A coworker of mine tried to flash back to an older sharp rom because some software he was trying to work didn't run properly on tcKrom 1.0 - apparently at some point he messed something up, because it didn't work. He tried to put tck back on, and it started hanging at the "INIT: version 2.68 starting" (something like that - don't remember it exactly unfortunatley) line - we tried putting every different rom I could think of back on it, but none of them ever got any farther. I noticed I could still get to the reset-D-P menu, so I ran all the internal flash diagnostics there, and everything seemed kosher. Grabbed an OLD (like 1.something old) romimage, flashed it, and the lights only stayed on for like 2 seconds - after some digging, I found that contrary to what the downloads section here says, old roms need to be named ROMIMAGE rather then Ospack (newer ones seem to be Ospack though) Got a 1. rom on, but it wouldn't even turn the power light on (I think it may have been a 5000 rom, after I did some more digging) so I grabbed 2.12 (I think it was 2.12) flashed from the reset-D-P menu, and this time I got much farther - got a screen full of errors and then a 'enter root passwd or press ctrl-d to continue' screen - when I get that on any of the servers at my office, it tends to mean the drive needs a good fscking but that didn't seem to be the case here. Since I had got much farther, I reflashed the newest OZ on a hunch, and wouldn't you know, the thing works like a charm now.
I had tried *EVERYTHING* and we were about to send the thing back to sharp
sorry for the long read, but hopefully this will help somebody out, and perhaps save a zaurus that's on it's way to the scrap heap.