Still no luck
3.4e yielded exactly the same issue.
Just to clarify the problem is not boot loader related, as it doesn't actually get as far as even installing the boot loader.
When i start the Installer from the Live DVD I get as far as partitioning the hard disk, and it says there are no hard disks on the system.
DMESG shows ATA link on the SATA controller being brought up at ATA1(the hard disk) and ATA4(the optical drive) but no devices are actually presented.
Getting quite disheartened now.