jsl61, did you say you installed Ubuntu or Kubuntu? You need Kubuntu 7.04 to go with LinuxMCE 0704. This could be the cause of your problems.
Having said that, I have given Linux 3 good goes myself. The first two times with RedHat when it was all the rage. And now with Ubuntu/Kubuntu. I totally agree that Linux installation is a complete nightmare in terms of it detecting all the right hardware. But the fact is that LinuxMCE is a good piece of software in terms of the functions it offers and it make just be worth the effort (or not) to keep trying.
P.S: I haven't succeeded in my install yet - it's been a week, many many hours spent, many reinstalls. I am still trying. I have an Asus P5W motherboard and Kubuntu won't even detect all my hard drives properly.