So after managing to wedge small but significant parts of windows by pulling the wireless card out without stopping it first, my laptop seems to have screwed up small but significant bits to do with networking.
Why else would I get "Destinaiton host unreachable" when trying to ping something in the same subnet, and actually manage to make ping.exe crash when trying 127.0.0.1? Not to mention the shell restarting every time I tried to get at the network connections to beat them into submission. Oh, and it then going down with a "Hard error" on shutdown.
Well, I've rebooted it, and am now ready to attack the networking again.
Or not... as it's now working fine. Hmm. Must be some really funky race condition involving the networking hardware, windows, the tcp stack, and the ibm networking software.
Or just my laptop hates me.