I had that problem quite some time ago. The network was fine in the stock kernel, but I had to rebuild the kernel to get my sound to work. This broke the ethernet, so I had one kernel with sound and one with ethernet.
The solution was to add a capability when building the kernel that really didn't seem to be necessary (to me at least). I can't remember what it was now -- I finally gave up on Debian after spending a month trying to get the printer to work after weeks of ethernet problems.
I will do some digging. In the mean time, download the live SuSe Personal disk.
SuSe did EVERYTHING the FIRST TIME!!!
Video, Sound, CDRW, Ethernet, Printer. Just remember to turn the printer on before installing.