No CD/DVD drive, no internet, what do I do?

I have been trying to figure this out for a while now by combing the various ubuntu support forums, with no success.  The hardware I working with here is a Gateway Solo 9300 laptop that I used back in college and does not run XP worth anything.  I started installing various ubuntu distros to see which I would like the most, and finally settled on plain ol' ubuntu.  Once I finally decided however, My CD/DVD drive could no longer mount anything that was in it.  This was not a HUGE deal as I had made the decision to stick with regular ubuntu, so I really did not need a CD drive that badly.  Then I started building up an old PC into a MythTV box and thought that this laptop would make a great frontend; so I thought about how 7.10 Gutsy did not connect to the internet automatically.  I installed WICD hoping that it would do the trick, when in fact it messed everything up.  By switching from Network Manager to WICD, I lost the ability to connect to the internet all together as WICD freezes up every time.  And since I do not have a CD/DVD drive, it can not read from the ubuntu CD to re-install Network Manager.  So now I am stuck with WICD and unable to connect to the internet and then unable to install anything from the ubuntu CD.  I have tried to copy the repositories from the ubuntu website to the laptop via a USB drive and register those as a software source for synaptix, but that did not work either (but I am thinking that I did not do this correctly).One strange side note, The CD/DVD drive registers when the lappy boots up, but becomes unmountable after ubuntu boots up.  I have tried Smart Boot Manager to get a floppy disk to boot to CD, only I get a "SMBK bad!" error; so those options are out the window.So if anyone has had a problem like this and has dug their way out, please let me know what you did, I would REALLY appreciate it.