I've tried Ubuntu and Mint several times in the past, and every time the failure of dialup to work properly was the killer for me. I am running Precise Puppy Retro on LiveCD and was ecstatic when it detected my modem and dialed and even connected right away! I'm using a Zoom 3095 external, the same modem I couldn't get to work properly on the other distros.
However my speeds are all over the place. Usually its decent, around 41000 bps. But then suddenly it's down to 5000- 10000. Then its back up again. All on the same online session. Any ideas how to fix this? This is similar to the problem I had on Ubuntu, but not quite as bad