Like many Emacs users I use the excellent Ubuntu Elisp PPA to get a more recent Emacs than the main distro repos package. However I'd been puzzled as to why emacs-snapshot hadn't been updated in ages. The was doubly confusing as the orebokech packages on which they are based and I use on my server had seen a couple of version bumps.
Turns out emacs-snapshot is no longer packaged by the PPA, but emacs23 is. Once I'd installed that my little (make-frame-on-display) problem went away.