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Stranded in console

For the love of quake3, I attempted to upgrade to xfree86-4.0.1.  I compiled from source and it went ok...Next I installed the NVIDIA GLX driver sucessfully, followed by an unsuccessfull NVIDIA kernel module install.  I got include errors during the make process. 
Noah suggested I get the kernel headers.  I run potato but I upgraded the kernel the old fashioned way not realizing there is an apt-get command for kernel upgrade.  I assumed I was locked into 2.2.14 is that not true?
So the main questions, how do I go about getting 2.2.16.deb packs and how to install them. 
Is there a kernel configuration util?  Im used to make xconfig, deb , clean bzImage etc.  The reason I went to 2.2.16 in the first place was to have kernel compatibilty for OSS sound drivers.
Thanks for your input -Ethan

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