OS X minus 1

I've had my first Mac OS X 10.1 blowout. I was minding my own business, using the OS, and suddenly icons stop working, hard drives disappear, and the system starts to fall apart. I try to Restart - no luck. Reboot - the system startup screen shows a progress bar, but no text beneath it describing the startup procedure. The Desktop login doesn't work.
I boot back into OS 9.2.1 - thank God for the dual-boot, backwards compatible options - and run Norton Disk Doctor. Lots of serious errors. Fix 'em. Reboot. Same problem. Dig out the OS X 10.1 upgrade disk. Boot off it. Select an upgrade. Let it run for a half hour. Reboot. I get my Desktop - and then stuff starts to hang.
It's Unix, so I should be able to use the Terminal window to type 'kill -9 ' where process number is the internal record that uniquely labels a specific running application or service, like Internet Explorer. No luck: can't kill anything, which just plain shouldn't happen under Unix unless there's real kernel/system problem.
I then notice that all the applications that I had set up to launch automatically at login are the ones in trouble. I use System Preferences's Login pane to remove all startup applications. This is a hassle, but I can cope. I try to Restart through the software, but no luck. Hardware switch reboot.
Now we're back in business. Time lost? About 2 hours. And, of course, my Practical Macintosh column for this weekend's Seattle Times extols the virtues of OS X 10.1. Time for a follow-up already. I mean, if I weren't a tech guy and were an average user: where would I be right now? In hell, yes, in hell.