Very good... thanks for the info. You definitely gave me some things to try. I am going to try it on one of my machines tonight and if that is successful, dive into a router based solution. I am running DD-WRT on a Linksys box, so I am confident if I can get it to function directly on one of my Windows based machines, I can get it working on the router as well.
I am not too sure how it will play out, as your you say, depends on the issue whether the DNS is slow or not responding, or if something else with the route is messing up the works. Regardless I will report back what I find either way.