Problem solved (sorta)
In Ubuntu, during the purple screen as Linux Live is loading up, I hit any key to get additional boot options, I select the F6 option, select the acpi=off option, turn down my monitor's brightness (on this computer it's holding Fn while pressing the left arrow key),and then continue without install. The very moment that screen disappears I raise the monitor's brightness (Fn + right arrow).
This allows the next screen (the word ubuntu with progress bar) to be perfectly lit! But Ubuntu will not load. Either it freezes, or I got a black screen with white text mentioning all the services that are starting and stopping, and then it freezes.
So my next solution was to leave the acpi=off option alone. And just do the thing where I turn down my monitor's brightness, then turn it up right after I select run without installing option.
This allows Linux Live to boot all the way up, even establish a an internet connection and surf the web! But, my monitor is stuck at half brightness. Neither using the Fn+arrow keys adjust the brightness up & down, or the display settings in Ubuntu change the brightness in either direction. But at least things are lit enough to see what I'm doing. In this condition Linux is not a preferable OS, but at least it can be used if windows can't boot.
I looked at the display information for my graphics, it says "Driver: Unknown", color profile "eMachines E525" (that's this machine alright). And changing resolutions does nothing.
But the thing I am curious about is; the monitor's brightness can be set to a normal brightness when selecting "acpi=off" on the F6 boot option, but why won't Linux load when I select that? I don't even know what acpi is. I got the idea to do this after reading this post about blank screen on the Ubuntu forums http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-1743301.html
It just burns me up that I am so close to it working perfectly.
Also, anyone know if the issue is with the monitor driver, or the integrated graphics driver?
Oh yeah, and one more thing, Ubuntu won't recognize my mouse pad, but luckily I have a Logitech mouse plugged into the usb port that it recognizes perfectly.
In case no one has any further advice on this monitor issue, I will have nothing more to say, so I might as well mention now my impression of Linux.
I think, if I could get it to work with this monitor that Linux makes a darn fine OS.
While I could holler about Linux not having drivers for everything, this is not the fault of the Linux community, no one who contributes to Linux can be expected to hack up a driver for every possible piece of hardware under the sun. This is the fault of a Microsoft dominated industry that pressures manufacturers to conform to Microsoft's every whim. And manufacturers who pay programmers by the hour and want no more than only the most popular version of any OS to be supported by their hardware.
We, the consumer must scream loudly that we have no intention of buying a product that doesn't have a driver for at least the most popular distro of Linux.
Linux boots in the same time as Windows, and considering I am booting from a DVD, that is truly amazing.
The desktop and icons are visually appealing and logically placed. My first time looking at the Ubuntu desktop and I pretty much knew what everything did and where everything I needed was.
Again, I was able to load up a Linux OS from a DVD for the first time, and surf the web, faster than installing any distro of Windows that I am already familiar with. The time it takes to configure the crap in Windows to finally get connected to the internet, right after the install, is complicated and everything feels cumbersome. From what little I've seen, I love Ubuntu.
Even if I can't get this monitor thing straightened out with this lap top, when I build my computer (a desktop) I will make sure every piece of hardware is compatible with Linux, and Bill Gates can kiss my rear.