just wanted to give this a bump. I've more or less confirmed it is a kernel issue, this is what I did to test:
mounted blackberry, created symbolic link from the folder of pictures to one in my home folder.
Launched virtualbox, (I have my home folder mapped through to the windows vm)
Browsed to pictures, was able to see a few. I had thumbnail view on by accident, so after loading a few, I got a partial load then the phone rebooted twice (hard reboots).
After reconnecting phone, tried browsing again, but all pictures either didn't load, or were partial/corrupy.
This is in Kubuntu hardy 32-bit 2.6.24-21-generic