We definately have been seeing some strange behavior.
I built myself 2.4.x kernels with gcc 2.95.x, and they both crashed
right before loading init. I built myself a 2.4.x kernel with gcc
3.3.2, and it *WORKS*! All I switched from my previous broken kernel
was to turn on CONFIG_ALPHA_SRM and CONFIG_SRM_ENV. Yet the same did
not work when built from 2.95.x. My next project is to see whether
2.6.1 will work when built with 3.3.2....
FWIW, the kernels on the potato netinst CD do not have those options on,
and by extension, neither do the kernel-images packages i nthe archive.
All of those kernels boot but fail when attempting to load IDE or SCSI