welp, it looks like the root cause of the modconf bug is actually not in modconf itself.... i was wondering why things worked in my testrig (chroot jail) but not when tested in actual potato boot-floppies. I guess if I had set up my test environment more carefully I would have found this sooner.... ah well. Now the bugs are filed, and things that I could fix are fixed, this time I'm pretty confident we've licked the bug for good.
Haven't been in the best of moods likely, I seem to be ticking people off with some of my more terse emails. <sigh>