X won't start with GDK_USE_XFT=1, will with =0...?

APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE:  I have scoured newsgroups, searched web pages,
fiddled with XF86Config and XftConfig, done everything I could.
No-worky.  I only post on the desktop-devel-list because I have run out
of other ideas.

Here is what is happening: I'd love to see Gnome2's groovy antialiased
fonts and such.  And I have gone through the rigmarole of many howtos
(ie yes, font paths are in XftConfig and XF86Config, just in
case... RENDER extension is enabled... correct modules are loaded in the
"Modules" section of XF86Config...).

It works without GDK_USE_XFT=1, but of course that doesn't get the
nice-looking fonty action.

But when I do startx with "GDK_USE_XFT=1", I get the following response:

(screen clears...)
(GNOME startup logo appears without any text under it...)
(screen goes black with the "click" of changing video mode...)

Return to console.  The only notable lines are

** (gnome-session:6344): WARNING **: Cannot open font file for font
   Nimbus Sans L, 10

** (gnome_segv:6360): WARNING **: Cannot open font file for font
   Nimbus Sans L, 10
This does *NOT* happen with GDK_USE_XFT=0.  Doing a grep of my
fonts.cache files shows that yes, the "Nimbus Sans L" font is in the
system in one of the directories in the paths in my config files.

I am using the XFree86 packages for RedHat 7.3... on a 7.2 system (it's
a patchwork of upgraded RPMs by now).

I realize I am missing something obvious, but don't want to waste
everyone's time--pointers to more information would be great, or hints
toward any solution.

Many thanks.


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