I just attempted installing OpenSuSE 11.1 on my ThinkPad R51e and experienced the same issue. Using the repair installation option the 3rd or 4th time, when it tried (and failed) to correct the boot options, I used the browse feature to see if I could even see the /boot/vmlinuz file… /boot was a link (not a subdirectory) and I could see no files or directories beyond /boot, though I could browse several other directories from the root, which tells me that there is something wrong with /boot.
Boot from CD/DVD, do not choose Repair, but choose Installation. At one point you will have the option “Boot installed system”. Pick that one, you will see that openSUSE is installed. Once you see the login screen, hit Ctrl-Alt-F1, login as root with root password. Now type mount, you’ll see a /dev/sdaX mounted on “/” where X is a number. Now type:
grub-install /dev/sdaX , where X is the number found above. Now the bootloader is installed and pointing to the partition where you installed openSUSE 11.1 on. Should boot now, other options should work as well.