it depends on the bootloader you use.
i think lilo still has the problem, but i haven't used it in forever so i could be wrong.
grub can avoid the problem and install the stage2 image into a partition greater than 1024 cylinders (or not in the first 1024 cylinders at all) if your hard drive can be accessed in LBA (Logical Block Addressing) mode. I don't even think you have to explicitly set it, most current drives support it by default. you'd probably have to install grub into the MBR, though - but that's the best way to do it anyway.
it's worth noting, though, that scsi controllers don't support LBA and cause grub to default to CHS (which does have the problem). if you're installing this on a sager then the point is moot, but it's a good tip to remember if you happen to be installing on a desktop.