Looks like your happily plugging away and enjoy the learning experience.
Here is a couple things that may help you out.
Some people have had improved installation results using the text installer, heres how...How to...VL 6.0 std text install option.
You don't have to reinstall everytime to try different drivers for your video.
You simply need to launch into tui mode...How to...4 different ways to launch into tui.
From there you can use vxconf to try the different video drivers... How to configure xorg.conf with vxconf
Your PCMCIA card may have to be set up with ndiswrapper, this may be the case if it is not working right out of the box....How to... ndiswrapper on VL
While the tut's help nothing beats the this forum. You may find someone can give you some quick answers if you can supply a little more info.
To let us know what Network card you are using
try this command in the terminal as root. (Enter su and your root password.) and post the output.
lspci | grep Network
To let us know what graphics card you are using try this in the terminal again as root...
lspci | grep VGA