Thankfully, I decided to postpone allowing him to take the monitor. I dug out my old 14" Tatung SVGA monitor and hooked it up, only to find out that the same lines & shadows were appearing here as well. Duh. So that ruled out a monitor issue. To confirm, we hooked up monitor to louiswu's comp and everything was fine. The Samsung guy didn't even know the monitor was ok. So much for tech effing support.
The graphics card (nVIDIA Riva TNT2 Ultra, 32 MB) had gone kaput and I'm to blame. The fan on the card was making odd noises for the last year and a half or so and I didn't bother. Just found out today that the fan wasn't running at all...hence overheating the GPU and messing up the card. Crud, that was a nice card. Still works, but gives you special lines on the screen :)
The new FX 5200 with 128 MB is now inside and the display is super. w00t!!! I should now go try Enter the Matrix....maybe my P3 500 MHz will be an issue now :p
airwolf ~ # cat /proc/driver/nvidia/cards/0
Model: GeForce FX 5200
Video BIOS: 04.34.20.56.00
Card Type: AGP
PS : Its running at 2x instead of 8x...that's all this mobo can do.