First off, make sure your system is setup (and capable) of booting from a CD-Rom drive. I believe your system should still be "new" enough to support that feature. You may have to enable it in the BIOS.
Next, I remember reading that for older systems it might be a better idea to stick with an older version of a distro like maybe Fedora Core 3 in this case but I think they were talking about older laptops. linux_0 or bmouring could shed some better light on the subject than I.
I believe you are spot-on with this one, Anoobis. Check to make sure the system can support booting from a CD (iffy, I'd give it 50/50) You may very well have to whip up some bootable floppies for the install, check you system's BIOS and get back to us.
As for older distros for older hardware, generally I am of the school of thought that, unless you have some pretty obscure hardware that is only supported in 2.4 kernel modules as a closed-source "blob", go with a newer distro. They've been adding support as a rule, not really taking it away, so whatever worked in a previous version should still work with a newer one. The nice thing with this software is that you can try out a few different ones for nothing more than the cost of a few blank cd's/dvd's.