Update: yesterday was at a friend’s house. We used a linux computer to clean the SD card and repartition it to original state. Wrote the image to the SD card (still the Kingston 16GB). Result was the same as before: Kernel panic, not able to mount root filesystem (179,2). Friend (safe to say he’s industry expert) is quite convinced the distribution image is wrong and tries to address the wrong partition.
We moved on to the debian version on the noob and could e.g. see that the fs is mounted on partition 7 etc.
But Gringo had success. That is why I am now puzzled. I could try his brand of SD card as last resort. All the rest (formatting etc) I have also tried in vain already.
For now, time to give up, await a new image (someday) and get a RPI2 and try on that one.
Thanks all for the help!