When I boot into XP it resets settings on my card (I think) and when Linux looks at it, it doesn't have any of the settings it had and defaults
It is true that the video card's settings change, but the defaults that you refer to is being loaded from /etc/X11/xorg.conf on the harddrive each time at boot.
I would bet its the nvidia sticky problem issue. Which also can be solved by saving the xorg.conf file to ones home directly, then using a terminal to copy over the one on /etc/X11/xorg.conf
But yes, the nvida solution is currently your best bet.
And for one last piece of advice; "sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg -phigh" will always give you 1024x768