Through trial and error and error and error, I was able to isolate the errors to one particular stick of RAM. Machine seems to boot and remain stable without it while I have another one on order.
Of course, to do the testing, I had to dismantle the whole freaking thing and replace the Zalman cooler with the stock one. Machine sounds like a B-29 now.
I hate Zalmans.
I had a similar problem with RAM a few years back. I was starting to wonder if the motherboard had power regulation issues since it went through 2 sticks of RAM before the 3rd set finally worked as expected. The vendor didn't have any problems replacing the RAM though on the third try i did ask them if this was typical or not.
As for Zalman, i've used some of their vidcard coolers, northbridge/southbridge passive coolers in the past with great success.
Quiet absolutely, but check the online reviews for the ones that are effective coolers.