MacBook Pro can no longer see the hard drive

I've got a MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo, 15-inch.
Okay, so I was chasing the nazis out of North Africa in Call of Duty 2 when the game froze. Command-Option-Escape was unresponsive, so I held down the power button to shut the whole thing down. When I brought it back up, I got the flashing folder icon.
After yelling a few words I shan't repeat here, I booted off the installation DVD, then started up Disk Utility to try to repair the disk. However, Disk Utility only sees the DVD; it doesn't see the hard drive at all. Neither does Startup Disk or System Profiler. (The hard drive would be under the ATA section in System Profiler's menu, right? It only shows the DVD drive.) If I try to go ahead with the OS X installation, at the "Select a Destination" screen, where the list of disks should be is disturbingly blank. So according to every method I've tried so far, it's as if my hard drive has been entirely disconnected.
This was my Christmas present, and I was hoping to get at least two years out of it, not two weeks. Anyone have any idea how to get this beautiful machine back on its feet again? I'm familiar with Unix and not afraid of using the command line, but I'm not sure what to try there.
15" MacBook Pro C2D   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  

Okay, second question: How does this forum software work? According to the thread list, someone named MacWizard has replied to this thread, but I can't see it.
MacWizard, if you could email your reply to spearbrave at gmail point c0m so I can read it there, I'd appreciate it.
15" MacBook Pro C2D Mac OS X (10.4.8)

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