FYI, now i'm getting:
06:08:51,107 ERROR [stderr] (Thread-101) java.sql.SQLException: No suitable driver found for jdbc:oracle:thin:@mydatabase.server.com:1600:pnetools
even though ojdbc6.jar is in $CLASSPATH and $RAILS_ROOT/lib. using the lastest build zipball. Switching to the standard jdbc driver loads, however my models aren't supported properly by that driver due to Oracle being different.