If it is a NVIDIA issue, you should be able to force vesa initially, and then tell it to use the proprietary drivers (System->Administration->Hardware Drivers). I think those are pretty up to date........ although don't quote me on that!
I think that is essentially the supported way of doing what you have done.
My GPU is Intel, so unfortunately this won't work for me! If anyone fancies trying this method just to clarify (or has already tried it) that would be great!