I powered up a new ESX host and enabled passthrough. This got me a bit further:

I thought it had hung here but patience paid off and the installer booted:

Damn- the keyboard/mouse doesn’t work (the pointer was moving around but I couldn’t click anything). Again- patience paid off and eventually it automatically moved on to the next step:

No target disks were listed when I chose to "Reinstall OS X". I went in to Disk Utility to investigate:

Damn. I tried using both IDE and SCSI disks in ESX but neither appear.

No doubt I’ll try some other ideas at a later date. I have a feeling I need to replace a .kext file on the install disc.