Remind me not to use that IT support company then!
Yes, I (and I'm sure many others) prefer the command line too. SDM has been superseded by Configuration Professional now I think (see »www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9···dex.html
) which is a bit better but still can't do everything you can do on the command line.
For logging, look into syslog - very useful if combined with something like splunk. If you're on telnet/SSH, use the "terminal monitor" command to have the logging pumped to your telnet/SSH session ("term no mon" turns it off again).
On the troubleshooting side, there's a lot of debug commands that will help - there's also a lot of useful info on Cisco's website, samples with verification checks that show you that what you just did worked.
Good luck with it, hopefully that config will at least get you up and running - you'll have to set up PAT against the dialer interface too but there's plenty of info on doing that out there.