After figuring out that the resource links just needed /os/i686 put on the end, pacman was able to update itself properly and also do a complete "pacman -Syu" with no problems, so no need to re-install from scratch.
I also got my other kernel modules loaded (sound, usb, etc...) and all programs that have sound (xmms, xine, audacity) appear as though they are playing, there is actually no sound coming from the speakers. So I am obviously missing something here.
[EDIT: sound was muted, used "alsamixer" to fix this]
Also, my dvd's are not playing in xine, saying they are encrypted. Again, something I don't know how to fix off the top of my head.
solved my problem with this]
Oh well, off to do more research, I'm sure I'll find a lot of other things that don't work, hopefully installing Arch will pay off in the long run. (in mandrake everything just worked after first install on this same machine)