I booted into FC 1, & played around to set HWADDR.... finally found out that its done using the ifconfig etho hw ether address command. Once that was done, she worked like a beauty :)
Back in Gentoo, since there isn't a ifcfg-eth0 per se, I just added a /sbin/ifconfig eth0 hw ether address to the /etc/init.d/net.eth0 script, so for now she's working fine here too.
You learn new things everyday. I never thought the MAC address could be set to one of your choice. I also have a few doubts... Should I continue using this card ? (Its a NetGear FA-311) Will there be further problems ? I could ask for a replacement....is it really necessary & lastly, anyway you can specify the MAC address in Winblows ?