I installed ESX 3.5u2 and ran things locally just fine. Then, to get my SAN up, I noticed that ESX (GUI) didn't pick up the HBAs on the local host (server). So i rebooted and discovered that the card's config menu had it disabled on boot. Turned that to on.
Now the card's LEDs turned from light blue to dark blue (so it's communicating at least) and I get the following message before ESX is even loaded:
LSI logic pci boot rom successfully installed! It will hang here indefinitely. I assume it is trying to do a network boot from SAN or something to that effect. I perused the config again looking to turn of the boot feature but it lists the PXE boot as the only option (explicitly tells you that there are no other options after pressing <space> to change).
This is critical to a weekend project. Much appreciated.