i did everything through gdebi, made at least 3x shutdown & restart, the modem still doesn't show up. it shows up as a drive in the "computer" file manager window. right-clicking the network-manager systray icon, mobile networking doesn't even show up.
wvdial connects the modem fine, though. it's a huawei e180.
i'm stumped, because i know it's been working on other (not debian stable based) installs.