I fixed it!!

As I suspected doing a clean reinstall of Hardy eliminated all my problems of losing my wired connection to the network. I can even suspend the computer and when I bring it back up it is in the same state. Now both wired and wireless connections work without a hitch.

I suspect that upgrading from Gutsy to Hardy leaves a bunch of baggage in the system that causes these errors. I had something weird like this when going to Gutsy from whatever came before it. A clean install took care of all my problems.

I guess the moral of the story is clean install from now on!!

PS - I did backup all my files before the reinstall.