I am using ubuntu 10.10 (64bit) with Gnome 2.32 on an Acer 18101tz

My home network looks like this:

Netgear N600 wireless router with connected 1TB usb drive for sharing media.
This is its connection table:

2 ACER1810TZ
3 Sony Playstation
4 -- --

There are a number of other computers on the network but for a number of reasons they are currently not present or powered down.

I am having a couple of issues, that I would like help in resolving, and I also want to post about expectation:

My expectation is that opening Nautilus and selecting the network browser, I will be able to see what is connected to my network. I will be able to see the computers (including the router with its share) and the inevitable windows workgroup.

What I see are two icons, one for the Mac and windows workgroup.
Clicking on the mac icon gives me its printer share so i think that works ok, but clicking on the workgroup icon gives me the dreaded error:

Unable to mount location
Failed to retrieve share list from server

My questions are:
1. What server is it trying to retrieve this list from?
2. Why do I only see the Mac?
3. How do I fix this?

I have my ~/user/public folder shared (on the Acer), and that sharing is set both in the properties of the folder, and via Samba, and yet I see no sign of it.

Although I can't see the shared drive on the router, if I use places > connect to server and fill in the appropriate details I can connect to it, read and write to it with no issues (other than it wanting a password and I'm pretty sure I told it not to do that, but hey, it works)

I've dug through the various threads on this issue and none of them seem to provide me with a solution. I don't have a firewall running, no anti virus, and no windows machines on this network (at least not at this time - the Acer and another MAC are both dual boot with Win7 and WinXP)

One thing everyone always gets asked is the output of certain commands, so here they are:

tony@Acer1810TZ:~$ telnet
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused
tony@Acer1810TZ:~$ findsmb

--------------------------------------------------------------------- READYSHARE +[ WORKGROUP ] ACER1810TZ [WORKGROUP] [Unix] [Samba 3.5.4] PIXIMAC [ WORKGROUP ]
tony@Acer1810TZ:~$ sudo iptables -L
[sudo] password for tony:
Chain INPUT (policy ACCEPT)
target prot opt source destination

Chain FORWARD (policy ACCEPT)
target prot opt source destination

Chain OUTPUT (policy ACCEPT)
target prot opt source destination

What I want to do is:
1 - browse the network, just to see who and what is on there
2 - have my public folder available to the rest of the network for data transfer
3 - have the shared drive visible to all the network users.

Does anyone have a solutions?