Did yast somehow give me the wrong kernel? It was the only kernel available for download and this was the first kernel upgrade I've done on this system. This system was freshly installed yesterday. Nothing outside of the suse distro is installed on it.
I just finished fixing the same issue on a 32-bit machine. The kernel is fine except the update does not execute mkinitrd which the reiserfs module doesn't like. Just boot off the CD into the rescue system. Create a directory in /tmp (for example /tmp/root) and mount your root partition there (for example mount /dev/hda2 /tmp/root). Then chroot to it (for example chroot /tmp/root). Then execute mkinitrd. Reboot and things will work. I also noticed that the new kernels reset the runlevel and powersave configurations to defaults which is really annoying.