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sl-modem-daemon unreliable

After much struggle I've got the sl-modem-daemon working on my laptop. It's an Everex Stepnote NM3500W, with the VIA P4M800 motherboard chipset. This includes the integrated AC97 sound and modem features. Though it works most of the time, it's very unreliable and unpredictable. Connections are not nearly as consistent as with an external modem. On the same line which reliably gives a 46.5k to 48k connection with an external modem, it will often fall back to 33.6k or even 28.8k connection speed. So I am wondering if there might be some sources of advice or technical hints about using the sl-modem-daemon with this specific chipset? I have found some online references for the Smartlink commands, but these are always generic. Surely people who have been using this driver with the VIA AC97 function have accumulated some specific knowledge?

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