Problem solved (or kludged
In addition to replacing all the F9 xorg* packages with their F8 counter-parts, I further downgraded to xorg-x11-drv-ati-6.6.3-2.fc7.i386
. This did the trick.
I also downgraded to system-config-display-1.0.51-4.fc8.noarch
because this is buggy and I saw several related threads complaining about this. It refused to save the Dual Monitor settings. If you run this from the command line, you will see squawking from the python script.
Also, I downgraded GDM to gdm-2.20.1-5.fc8.i386
. The F9 version is rather lame as well as currently in development. I like my personal login picture.
Now I have a functional hybrid F7-F8-F9 system. I guess this is what happens when you start falling behind on the hardware and the ever-advancing software forgets about you.
Someday, I will restore all the F9 packages except the F7 ati radeon driver and see if it works. As for now, I will leave well enough alone!