Demonbane, thanx for your help...here's the situation now....
I can see the shared directory from my windows using "\\<samba server ip>" as you said. But it still doesn't work from network neighborhood. Also, I cannot create any files or folders when I access it that way, although my smb.conf says writable = yes. last problem is I cannot access the samba server from the linux box itself. It says "NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE"
Please help and thanx in advance.