Getting it repaired will push me to just before the 30 day return period (which starts at sony's ship date, not at my recived date). Close enough to it that if things are a little slow then I will be pushed over it and there is no gaurentee that 1) sony will actually fix the problem given their attitude 2) there is no gaurentee linux supports the integrated wifi (we followed what other people had done with this model of laptop and it didn't work. Now that was possibly the memory problem, or possibly sony keeps subtle tweeking the card) 3) this laptop is doing just fine with greg's pcmcia netcard, so maybe I was stupid not to try this first.
Greg is going to reinstall linux (sony wouldn't issue me a work order until I recovered the laptop back to factory issue (good thing I spent $10 creating the recovery disks I guess... :/) and try to get the card to work and then reset it again before the end of business hours tomorrow so I can get an RMA if it doesn't work. At this point I've had it. I'm out of cope and I hate this whole process. There isn't a right laptop out there for me and at this point I'm so mad at sony, I'm goign to be reluctant ever to go back to them. I want this laptop but with a bigger disk, no more netowkr problems and a higher resolution screen.