Update. With the newer versions of ubuntu, they actually discourage the use of /etc/resolv.conf.
Instead, you need to use the 'interfaces' file (/etc/network/interfaces)
As part of the primary network interface, you would add (after gateway)
dns-nameserver <ip address of server>
The timeout problem is caused by a couple of things. 1) udev is a piece of crap when it comes to network interfaces. You can have your network adapters renamed from eth0 to eth1 without knowing it, even if you _don't_ move the drive to a new system. (If you were, perhaps, doing the right thing and building it on another box for testing before replacing a live system). or 2) edit /etc/init/failsafe.conf and comment out the extra 'wait' time.