Thanks for the tips!
Apparently when you do install the modem driver it uses another set of modules than the stock ones (which apparently didn't work initially). Dell has apparently released an updated driver for their laptops over here (http://linux.dell.com/wiki/index.php/Ub ... dem_Driver
). However once I install it, it breaks my sound with a hda device not detected message :< I checked to see if I have any backports installed and I do not. I previously had the latest modem driver off linuxant running with sound, and before installing this one from dell I completely removed the 'old' driver through the package manager. Also in an unrelated issue, is there anyway to get that little network icon in the bottom right of the screen to display when I'm connected? wvdial is working great but I wouldn't mind using that. Thanks again for any help.