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SUMMARY: EUREKA! Authentication problem solved.

First off, thanks to all the help out there.  Without this list I would
have never figured this problem out.  Here was the problem:

I would try to login to a unix machine using telnet or /bin/login that
was setup to use pam and LDAP, everything would authenticate ok, but
instead of getting a shell or an error message, I would simply be returned
to the login prompt again.  After checking all of my files, everything
appeared ok.

SOLUTION:  This was a stupid one on my part.  When I was making all of the
changes I was rebooting the machine frequently (as I was making startup
changes as well and wanted to see how they were working).  This made me
think that the nscd daemon had taken the changes I gave to it before I
rebooted.  Funny thing was I made the changes AFTER I rebooted.  Therefore
I just needed to restart the nscd daemon and things would work ok.

Again, thanks for all the help and patience exhibited by those on the
list.  If you're ever in central PA, email me and I will definitely buy
you a beer!