udev + linux-image-2.6.12-1-686 solved: needs a newer e2fsprogs to build its initrd.
I had some trouble installing linux-image-2.6.12-1-686... it
said I needed a newer udev. So I installed a newer udev,
and linux-image-2.6.12-1-686 wouldn't install. Then udev
wouldn't start, because it said my 2.6.11 wasn't good enough,
so I lost access to my USB drive.
Anyhow, I eventually discovered that linux-image-2.6.12-1-686
needs a newer e2fsprogs to build its initrd. So I upgraded
to the latest e2fsprogs (1.38-1.1), and linux-image was
happy and I rebooted and got my USB drive back.
So this is solved, at least for me. I did update the bug
report with my workaround and hopefully all the maintainer
will have to do is update the 'Depends:'