save headaches and buy an external hardware modem (spose they could be gotten cheap by now)
I'm sure if there was expendable money available, one would probably be better putting it towards a computer rather than a modem.
Lucent modem is well supported in Linux, the ones with the mars chip are the only PCI modems that can be installed on 64bit Linux. Just use the scanModem tool at linmodems.org and read the modemData.txt file amongst the many text files it produces. This will tell you what you got, where to get source for compiling modem module (driver). All the other documentation produced by scanModem should be read also for more assistance.