The 328 chip I ordered from NKC came in today and I tried it out on the Freeduino board. I got the same error message:
avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x66
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x66
I inspected the board one more time so now I think the problem lies in the FT232RL USB to serial chip that came presoldered to the board. Too bad. The Freeduino board came as a kit so I don't think I'll be able to return it.
The assembly instructions for the Seeduino kit are on the NKC Electronics site so I went back there and ordered an assembled Seeduino.
In the mean time I had some success with the STAMP product. Check out the next post.