I should know better.
Every six months a new version of Fedora comes out, and every six months, I upgrade before it’s stable and screw up my computer.
For the sake of anyone else who encounters the same problem (bloody nothing loads – Gnome fails to load and Firefox fails as well), just downgrade to the Pango and Cairo libraries from Fedora 9.
update: if your machine boots, but only after you hit the keyboard a load of times, then try booting using the FC9 kernel instead.
btw: for some sad parties (myself included 😉 ): geansai gorm