As my luck continues to be good or at least maybe I'm reading instructions better the WAS 5.1 install actually went successfully. I resorted to reverting back a snapshot and starting over. This time I remembered on key ingredient
Seems if you are using SLES 9 there is an embedded messaging issue that can be worked around with this little command. This is only an issue with WAS 5.1.0 so once the 5.1.1 PTF is applied it's no longer a problem. See technote.
One other thing. Do a ulimit -s 8196 in your shell session before you install.