Ok both problems solved:
1. After further googleage I came across this link:
Turns out as a 64 bit user, I have to install ia-32libs
<code>sudo apt-get install ia32-libs</code>
Should have remembered that from when I installed ubuntu dapper 2 years ago. duh. That said these libs should be already included by default with 64 bit installs of ubuntu.......
2. Well I installed the nvidia drivers again, version 1.73 I think. Only this time in order to exit the x server I did
<code>sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop</code>
rather that init 2 or something similar I had used before. Not sure if that is what made the difference but hey, the drivers now stick.