Many people have run into an issue during Panther install that causes a black screen. I have found that the problem may be caused by certain third-party memory. I removed my third-party RAM and the install went off without any further problems. When I put my third-party RAM back in, it prevented me from changing resolution (I get the black screen again), dragging windows around the screen (they blur), and using the scroll arrows (windows contents blur).
It irritates me that I'm going to have to buy new RAM just because of an OS upgrade, but my Mac being in good health is worth a great deal more to me. Hope this helps anybody who reads it.
Mac OS X Hints