Yes, you need the networking modules. Why? Because as soon as you connect to your ISP you become part of a network. I went through the same thing myself.
As far as your PPP problems:
Don't worry about your hostname. I've read in your other posts that you are connecting via modem, so it doesn't apply to you. If you change to DSL, then you'd need it.
A hostname file would be used in a true network situation and there are several machines. You could configure a file (let's say /etc/hostname.le0, which would be an ethernet connection, with a hostname of noel) that places the name of your machine out on the network connection. That, combined with a proper entry in your /etc/hosts file (123.456.789.123 noel), would identify you to the rest of the network by both IP address and name. In this situation you would need to configure at least three separate files in your /etc directory in order to connect. But luckily you don't have to mess with that in PPP.
But when you connect to your dial-up ISP, you are only identified as an IP number. Chances are the ISP will dynamically assign your IP address, which means that you'll have a different one each time you connect. It doesn't care about what your machine "name".
As far as configuration files go, you shouldn't have to worry about manually configuring any. If you are trying to connect with kppp, then the configuration will be taken care of within that shell.
It will step you through everything you need to know about connecting with kppp.
As far as not needing to know anything about networking because you aren't "running one nor using one", that's not true. You are using one. And having a basic understanding of how it's set up will help your troubleshooting down the road.
Good luck. Hopefully you get the modem working in Windows.