I called Gigabyte tech support and the woman was very adamant that it's unlikely to cause any issues even if the board was bad...and followed that line up with, and I quote, "but if the VRM are bad your CPU will burn". Thanks, that was helpful.
I'm fairly sure Intel doesn't want me to have to call them again and send another replacement CPU.
So anyway - here's my request (and I completely understand if nobody wants to bother ): What does your Gigabyte Z68 board (preferably a UD3/UD4/UD5) do if you try to boot it up with no CPU and no RAM?
I am guessing that a properly working board would power on but do nothing. Mine, as it happens, turns on for a split second (EDIT: after trying it again it's close to 2 seconds), then turns itself off. It then repeats this cycle every 5-6 seconds. I'm not sure if it's supposed to do that or if it is actually dead. The Gigabyte tech wasn't very helpful in this aspect either - her answer was essentially "it depends". Of course, she couldn't tell me what it depends on.
I really don't want to blow up any good CPUs nor do I really want to deal with a 3-4 week RMA process for a board that might be good.