It looks like I finally have a stable streaming video server going, at least from a PC standpoint. I figured out the problem with the OS:
It wasn't the OS. It wasn't ANY OS. It was the motherboard.
It had to be! As soon as I re-cannibalized the "new" PC and put the old dual processor Dell back together, it came up. It hasn't frozen yet, and it's running fairly smoothly. At this point, if I come back down here tomorrow and it hasn't frozen up, then I start playing with the Windows Media Player and Encoder.
I may be Peercasting soon. Stay Tuned!