I have just installed Joomla! 1.5.5 and its works just fine. The web browser install didn't work so I had to do it manually. I am a complete CMS novice but I was able to do it by following the joomla.org installation guide. Didn't install the sample data, uploaded a couple of pictures and my own favicon.
Perhaps with a little more patience and persistence the original poster would have been able to succeed.
- only just started so there isn't much on there!