Thanks for the information.
I did this but along the way noticed that what I thought was a gnome facility appears not to be.
The Fedora baloon that shows white and then gradually fills up to the full blue icon shows up even in multi-user.target mode. So, I assume that the login sequence isn't gnome at all, but just some gui front end. It's that front end I'm having a problem with.
During the yum reinstall of the gnome desktop, a message popped up : unable to connect to dbus
That points at the same problem I'm trying to solve - At start up , I never get a login screen and /var/log/message is giving me permission problems with /usr/bin/dbus-launch from gdm-simple-slave. I started a thread last night about that and got no replies so I thought I'd nuke gnome desktop which I now believe had noting to do with my issue.
A reboot of the box gives me the identical problem I had before the gnome desktop reinstall, which confirms my suspicion.
For whatever reason, I think dbus is hosed. Now I'll have to try to figure that out.