Well, to steal a phrase, "It's been a long road, gettin' from there to here..."
I finally solved my modem problem on a permanent basis. Turns out that all I had to do was unhook the modem from the computer and reconnect it on the other serial port. Suse recognized it and set things up.
Unfortunately, I ended up installing Ubuntu over it because I hosed the Suse installation, and I am using NetZero for my ISP. I have yet to get their damn dialer to work with it, but when I dialed in directly, it connected and behaved like it should.
I did end up trying Suse 10.1, but I uninstalled it because I didn't like it quite as much as 10.0. It's definitely not ready for prime time. But now that the modem issue has been resolved, I might end up putting it back on again, since I'll be able to patch it.
Anyways, I just wanted to thank everyone who lended a hand trying to help me out. In the process, I learned some new things about Linux.