Everything is working now. Both nics and the wd + laptop drive. The system is snappy for websurfing. I believe that power was the issue I had earlier.
Right now I have the board in an old mATX case open on its side with an antec smartpower 350. The cooling is a medium speed panaflo kind of laying across the atx power cable at an angle so that it blows some air on the processor and chipset. A finger on the northbridge feels at or just above body temperature. A little airflow goes a long way. The raw southbridge is about the same. the processor requires sliding my finger down to the level of the board before giving a slight impression of warmth.
A few notes about questions others have asked.
Using this board for puppy linux seems great at first but the mythbuntu linux video drivers aren't good. There is a line of short black segments running from top to bottom of the screen(1024x768) about a quarter of the way from the left of the screen. This doesn't matter for a backend headless server of course. I'm running a front and backend to get aquainted with mythbuntu right now. It's what I'm using to type this post.
As far as cooling. Well, a little airflow has made a great difference. If you want to attach a fan to the existing heatsinks then this will probably be adequate as long as the case itself has some ability to breathe. Elastic bead cord such as stretch magic or the cheap stuff on a card from sewing and craft supply stores might work. My thought is to tie the cord to a fan mounting hole and stretch the cord a bit and tie it to a heatsink spring loop on the motherboard. One on each side. This should work fine. As mentioned in an earlier post, a fan blowing in from the side of the case that covered just a bit of the cpu heatsink kept that heatsink cool. In this situation just a small fan tied to the northbridge heatsink should be ok.
I am now pleased with the board's ability to run two nics, the wd drive and to run cool with a bit of airflow. One thing that grabbed my attention was the power draw specs fom Intel. They list over 100 watts potential draw on the 5volt rail alone from a fully loaded system. I guess the greater processing potential of this board vs a via board does come at a power consumption price.
The case now on order for this system is here: http://short-circuit.com/product/APEX-MI-100.html
I think it is an interesting small mini itx case. It will actually fit screwed to a 2'x2' plywood sheet lag bolted into the concrete basement wall also holding a dsl router, telephone distribution, cat5e lan distribution, coax tv distribution and amp, router, switch and HDhomerun.