for reasons I don't want to explain, I'm sticking with 6.1 for awhile. So humor me.
yes, I already know this card will work for linux and I already know it uses the tulip driver. I've read about some guy who explained how he got this card from SBC for DSL (just like I did) and managed to figure out that tulip worked just fine with it.
So yeah, it's configuration problems.
FYI: Card = KINGSTON KNE111TX/SI
I've done some more reading, and learned how to list all the loaded modules as well as how to remove modules and take down a ethernet interface. So I'll try those things to get more info - or maybe even get it to work.