I've got my server working. It's running debian (LMDE, actually) and I have a zfs set up on the controller. I re-flashed the raid card to IT mode & talk about it here. Started moving files over from the old server and after one final backup, will switch to new raid for production.
My old raid is a highpoint rocketraid 3510 and I'm not too impressed with LSI's bios operation (plain UI, takes way too long to "boot") but given how rarely one is supposed to see that, I consider it anecdotal at best.