I captured photos of the Mint 14.1 boot errors (there were many and some scrolled by fairly fast), but they are probably irrelevant outside a mint forum. The .xsession-errors file in the user directory wasn't a factor as this problem occurred before the first user login.
I have now blown away the Mint install and have reinstalled 12.04.1 from the DVD. After the black screen of death, I rebooted from the DVD and changed "quiet splash" to "nosplash nomodeset" for the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT entry in the /etc/default/grub file.
Without further tweaking, here is the output you requested:
# lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 vga
00:05.0 VGA compatible controller : NVIDIA Corporation C51PV [GeForce 6150] [10de:0240] (rev a2)
Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. A8N-VM CSM [1043:81cd]
Kernel modules: nouveau, nvidiafb
00:09.0 RAM memory : NVIDIA Corporation MCP51 Host Bridge [10de:0270] (rev a2)
# /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p
OpenGL vendor string: VMware, Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 0x300)
OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 8.0.2
Not software rendered: no
Not blacklisted: no
GLX fbconfig: yes
GLX texture from pixmap: yes
GL npot or rect textures: yes
GL vertex program: yes
GL fragment program: yes
GL vertex buffer object: yes
GL framebuffer object: yes
GL version is 1.4+: yes
Unity 3D supported: no
# apt-cache policy nvidia-current
500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates/restricted amd64 Packages
500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-security/restricted amd64 Packages
500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/restricted amd64 Packages
I am personally not thrilled with the Unity interface, so classic gnome mode will be fine for this machine. However, I would like to resolve and document the black screen of death issue before moving on so that others can benefit.
# glxinfo | grep -i opengl
The program 'glxinfo' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
apt-get install mesa-utils