I found a very simple solution – do the updates on a computer running Mac OSX. I’d been running iTunes on my work laptop and avoiding any more updates after the last two “bricking” episodes.
But, now on my new Dell mini Hackintosh, I had no issues at all. I’m very, very pleased with the way that it has turned out and the Dell is far more usable running Snow Leopard than it was running XP and battery life is somewhere around 7+ hours with the big battery.
Highly recommended if you are open to a little bit of hacking.