I wrote the frantic (and somewhat confusing) post above when a 733 Quicksilver refused to load OS 9.2.1; it would stall just before showing the happy Mac. My school's yearbook, every page, is on this thing and I figured that I could get it to boot off a CD and perform a clean install if I could get the damn tray open, which I finally did, thank God. Sorry for not explaining this before.
BTW, it seems that Apple should include a hole for emergency openings like they used to. But alas, Apple will do what it wants. There comes a time when appearance and superficiality should take a back seat to practicality.