So I spent a hour or so screwing around with the problematic Suse install and discovered a couple of things:
Using the GUI to access the network card was doing next to nothing. If I added DNS entries they did not show up in the resolv.conf file, if clicked it off the file did not modify upon recieving a DHCP update.
Using the GUI, I could never create a default gateway, I had to add a default gateway via the command line. This should also be learned via the DHCP packet.
So basically somewhere in the process of the system/kernel update DHCP got screwed up. I can only grab a DHCP address, I don't appear to learn anything else from the DHCP packet - although firing up Ethereal shows that the information is contained within the packet.
I am not sure whether I really want to troubleshoot any deeper or whether I want to chunk the machine and try again. I would prefer to run Fedora, I know the OS better and seem better able to dig around within the file structure but then the company I am working for has their tool ported to Suse argh choices.....