Matt, try removing the mobo from the case and trying again with it on an inside out anti-static bag.
I would also remove and re-seat the CPU, don't worry about new goop/TIM as all you need to do is prove a point.
Good Luck and keep us up to date
Okay, just finished with that experiment.
I still think it's either the motherboard or the CPU, and now I'm leaning towards the CPU.
When I went to remove the Ninja, I found that the Arctic Silver had practically cemented
heatsink to the CPU. In fact, after unlatching the two retention brackets on one side of the Ninja, I found that the CPU was actually being pulled out of the socket!
I didn't know what to do, so as slowly and carefully as I could, I pulled the CPU out of it's socket.
A few pins were bent, so I painstakingly straighted the pins as best I could. I also cleaned off all the TIM. I put it back in the socket, and powered up. Still nothing.
However, if I power up the motherboard with no CPU at all, the "Asus voice" comes on and repeatedly says "No CPU installed".
I tried this several times, taking the CPU out and putting it back in, and turning the system on... same result, no POST.
Funny thing is, the CPU still gets warm... so at least part of it is working (maybe?).
So I'm pretty sure that either the ZIF socket on the motherboard is ruined, or the CPU itself is ruined.
Any more ideas? I'm thinking that I'm going to take the board down to the local shop and see if they'll drop a 939 chip in real quick to determine if it's the board or the CPU... or I guess I could take the CPU down and use one of their boards. You get the idea.
Thanks again guys,