One thing to note: when it came time to install lilo or grub, one of the options was to skip. Since I'm not installing multiple OS's, I figured that I could just boot straight into VL, so I skipped. Maybe that's the issue.
Yes. That'll be it. Some boot loader needs to be in the MBR, that tells it what and how to boot. After install you can set lilo's time out to like 1 (0.1 second) and run "lilo" to apply the changes, so you won't have to select anything or wait for time-out very long.