i read something from matthewchin (one of the earlier posts). his suggestion worked:
Please d/l and install from the tar ball instead:
tar -xvzf NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.tar
nvnet.o should be created successfully.
Now seems eth0 can be recognised even at startup.
i think the src.rpm version is no good (doesn't seem to deploy the objects). hope this helps.