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cable connection stopped working

I have a cable connection to Rogers@Home. 
It worked under linux.
I now have a new machine.
Even with the same ethernet card as the old machine, I can't get
the connection going. Same settings, same ip address, no dhcp 
(don't need it says Rogers, since my ip hasn't changed).
I can up the eth0 interface, no errors, but pinging any host on
the internet does nothing: the ping just sits there (Same thing for telnet).
tcpdump occasionally reports one or two lone responses from the DNS host.
This after a minute or so. 
iptraf reports some UDP stuff, almost all of it outgoing and not incoming,
but no tcpip stuff. tried changing ethernet cable.
The lights on the cable modem flash a bit
when I ping, as expected. Can someone suggest how to debug this sort
of thing please, it's been four days and three ethernet cards already and
I'm running out of ideas. -chris

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