Well, Earthlink kept their promise and a new DSL modem awaited me when I got home yesterday afternoon. That's the good news.
On the other hand, I am still without DSL service at home. I opened the package, followed all the instructions and . . . voila . . . still no signal.
Back on the phone with another nice Tech in India. After a frustrating, long period of time with no solution revealing itself, he politely put me on hold to check with his "supervisor."
Eventually, an equally polite chap came on line and we tried some more things. I jokingly commented, "I see I have advanced to a Tech 2." "Oh, no," he replied proudly, "I am a Tech 3."
When success was not forthcoming, he gave me a ticket number, told me that he was passing my problem on to a "signal specialist," and that I should call back 4 hours later to a direct line for which he provided a new phone number. I called at the appointed time, entered the numbers requested by the recorded voice, and heard a new recording telling me that my phone company was checking the line and I should call back in 24 hours.
After I hung up, I thought to myself: They are utilizing a "signal specialist" and having the phone company check my line. Isn't that what I told them on the first call 2 days ago? Didn't I tell them I was no longer receiving a signal? It really took the inability of a new modem they provided to receive a signal for them to realize I might have been right in the first place.
Well, it's a new day and the saga continues. Currently, I am using dial-up to download my e-mail and the supermarket free Wi-Fi zone to carry on other business and write silly blog posts like this one.