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wierd problem reaching the internet

i have a debian-woody box set on a lan that uses a router as a gateway 
( to the net, the router is configed well as all other machines 
including a similar debian-woody box can access the internet, however it can 
only ping externally and timesout when opening any connections.

ping works to wan sites through the gateway:

 ping www.yahoo.com
PING www.yahoo.akadns.net ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=54 time=93.7 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=54 time=94.7 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=54 time=92.1 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=54 time=93.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=54 time=93.3 ms

--- www.yahoo.akadns.net ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 92.1/93.5/94.7 ms

however when i try to access using a web browser or try ssh i get a timeout,

route gives:
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface     *        U     0      0        0 eth0
default         UG    0      0        0 eth0

ifconfig gives:
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:C0:A8:7E:35:2A  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          RX packets:9254 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:3257 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:100 
          RX bytes:10291922 (9.8 MiB)  TX bytes:710599 (693.9 KiB)
          Interrupt:9 Base address:0xa400 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:38 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:38 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:2588 (2.5 KiB)  TX bytes:2588 (2.5 KiB)

my etc/network/interfaces:
The loopback interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The first network card - this entry was created during the Debian 
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

if i try to browse to an internal site such as all works 
correctly, so there is no problem with tcp on the box, and icmp seems to work 
globally though the router, but why can't i access tcp? an almost idenical box 
has been set up with the same interfaces (other than the ip addr) file and it 
produces the same routing table and all works correctly. SSH on debug also 
resolves the name fine so its not a problem with the resolver. The system used 
to work perfectly with a similar network where the settings were recived via 
dhcp, and a gateway was used, it was on a different subnet however, 

Thanks for your help in advance


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