Here is the solution to the eclipse tomcat integration problem I was experiencing. I had read the article in the URL a number of times but for whatever reason I was using a JRE and the integration requires a JDK. The article calls it out very explicitly, but I didn't notice the full JDK wasn't installed. That's was solution to problem 1. (and the entire JDK installed into /opt/jdk1.5.0_11) The Java 1.5 JDK I installed is at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index_jdk5.jsp
A Great Article on Eclipse-Tomcat integration: The Power of Three - Eclipse, Tomcat, and Struts
Problem 2 solution:
I read a few other articles that said to blank out the parameter for tomcat home in the eclipse plug-in. Bad idea - it needs to be specified.
In Eclipse 3.2. Go to Window->Preferences then go to the Tomcat Section->Advanced and make sure tomcat base is set. Since I run Suse 10.2 mine is installed in /usr/share/tomcat5
Problem 3 Solution:
An easy way to update the Eclipse and plug-ins is within Eclipse itself (not Yast). In Eclipse - go to Help->Software updates and you can manage all the eclipse plug-ins from here. I hadn't realized that one.
If your reading this article - Hopefully this solution works for you as well.