One thing I forgot to mention: I did notice that the network driver does get loaded. Since this is an older laptop, however, I'm thinking it might have something to do with acpi and the M/B compatibility. I have had issues with other integrated network interfaces when the M/B has a buggy acpi implementation. When I disabled acpi on the kernel command line everything worked.
Of course, I'm just grasping at straws at this point. I've finally got some time off from work, so I'll resume my testing either today or tomorrow (I have a lot of things I need to test).