I also had the same problem w/ initramfs on Elyssa
Never encountered these sort of problem using Cassandra and Daryna.
My spec is:
Intel C2D E6400
AsRock 775Dual-VSTA Via PT880 Pro
2 GB RAM
Leadtek 6800XT 128MB
A workaround that I used to get into login window was by editing the /boot/grub/menu.lst
from 'kernel /boot/vmlinuz-126.96.36.199 - generic root=/dev/sda1 ro quiet_splash' and change the 'quiet_splash' into 'all_generic_ide'
However, I noticed that after grub loads, the time it takes to get into the login window is very very long. And once I got into the desktop, the 'login window ready' sound was looping on and on, so I turned that particular system sound altogether to fix the problem.
Using the pulse sound, I noticed crackling sound when playing music that and Rhythmbox-metadata uses so much CPU resources that it interferes w/ tvtime and Totem running smoothly when run together that never happened in the previous Mint. Does anybody know how to alleviate these problems? As far as the interface, I love Elyssa but the pulse sound problem and the slow loading time really ruin the whole Mint experience
EDIT: I'll try to resolve these issues for a few days but If they still persist, I'm going back to Daryna and wait for the next revision. Mint rocks