Ok your post did help (as I hadn't done the steps mentioned). It got me looking over everything turns out that after getting the Sil SATA built into the kernel itself (sil_sata under low level scsi drivers), and the support for the Sil controller under ATA drivers and such (intead of as a module - * instead of m) it still kept giving the error. After then building support for the ext3 filesystem into the kernel it finally got me to the drive mounting area and then failed (which was fine and a happy moment cause I knew I would eventually have to change /etc/fstab for hda to sda anyway) after that it worked like a charm.
htparm -t /dev/sda
shows somewhere in the 60MB/s range (58 - 59 average).
This page helped with it's linux Sil 3112 or Sil 3114 how to: http://unclean.org/howto/sii3114_linux.html
while it was written for Sil 3114 the basics still applied to 3112 as well. Thanks.