four hours and $95 later I have just discovered that StarTech PCIX USB cards are NOT mac compatible. They apparently use the "NEC" usb chipset, and the usb drivers inside 10.5 and 10.6 apparently don't play nice with NEC usb bus chips. Depending on if you have one or two of them installed, different things happen, all of them unpleasant and uninformative.

*RANT* We ordered them from Ingram Micro (wholesaler) and they listed them as mac compatible. When they arrived, they said only about 10 flavors of windows on the box, so before opening I called StarTech and was told they would work fine. The fine tech I got ahold of in text chat this evening informed me of the details between the mac and the NEC chips. So this blows about four hours of my evening and I will have to repeat this process again next week when I find some otherthanstartech cards.
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I work for the Department of Redundancy Department