I was able to get everything to work succesfully with 10.6.7 after following these instructions exactly, courtesy of gillyf:
"I've had success on lots of 10vs following these instructions.
The first thing you need, as soon as the 10.6 install is done, is an internet connection so that you can downoad NetbookInstaller 20100616212351. Here's one place to get it from: NetbookInstaller 20100616212351.zip
To run NetBookInstaller, click on Install - no need to change any of the ticked and unticked items - fill in your Password (if you specified one when setting up) and click on OK.
When it’s completed, quit NetBookInstaller, open a Finder window, eject Mac OS X Install DVD and unplug the Flash Drive. Then restart.
As soon as you see the Dell start-up screen, press the F2 key to enter the BIOS.
Under the Advanced tab, arrow down to USB BIOS Legacy Support and press the F5 key to disable. Then arrow down to USB Wake Support and, if it’s disabled, press the F6 key to enable it.
Still in the BIOS, under the Boot tab, arrow down to Hard Drive and press the F6 key to put this at the top of the list.
Still in the BIOS, under the Exit tab, press the Return key to Exit Saving Changes.
Press the Return key to say Yes to ‘Save configuration changes and exit now’. The netbook will restart.
The next thing to do is download and install the 10.6.7 Update Combo, which you’ll get from the link below:
Mac OS X v10.6.7 Update Combo
I've seen it recommended that you don't do a Restart immediately after the update's finished. I always do though, with no problems. But immediately after the Restart, I run NetBookInstaller again, and follow that with another Restart.
So far, I've left my updates at 10.6.7 but I have seen details on 10.6.8 too.
Personally, I set 10.6.8 as Ignored in Software Update - do the rest of the updates followed by running NetBookInstaller again, and following that with another Restart.
Then I do Repair Permissions."
After that, I partitioned the drive to make room for linux, and made the other partition fat32. when I re-installed linux I just used that partition for the grub and everything works perfectly now. for some reason, the linux side is VERY slow (as in much slower than OSX), but at least it works.
Thanks for your help guys. By the way, Clonezilla worked like a charm for Cloning a multiple partition setup like this.