Hi Jim... yes I have 3D effects (Compiz Fusion) working here. I've always had them working (sometimes neccesitating some fiddling!). I'm not sure I quite follow what you're saying there about the Live CD... I'm presuming you don't have Ubuntu installed to your HD and you're trying to get 3D effects working from the Live CD only? If you are then any changes you make (such as using Envy) will be lost on a reboot as the Live CD only runs in RAM. The only thing you can try from the Live CD environment is to enable restricted drivers but that probably requires a reboot also and then you're in the same boat. Other than that I can tell you that 3D does work perfectly with my Nvidia 8600 GT.
5 Cups of Ubuntu