Wow, you imported a large db over PHPMyAdmin? I wouldn't do that any larger than a GB as you could run into timeout issues with a large transaction (and really wouldn't notice missing content unless its all fresh in your mind, and even then)... Generally with large DBs I'd advise using the command line interface to fully process the queries.
aye, that is what happened. phpmyadmin kept timing out. i had to work with my host to do the command line method (i did not yet have direct access)
but now.... wahoo! i've got a working forum
its hideous -- i must have messed up the templates somewhere (and can't seem to reset the styles yet)
but... rkmbs.com is alive!!!