just to check where you're at:
you've got a nic in each machine with drivers installed.
you've got your crossover cable connected to both machines.
for the time being you've disabled the firewalls on both PCs.
each nic is set to use tcp/ip and has a unique IP in the same subnet.
when you ping the IP of the second machine from the first it times out.
is all this correct?
Intel core I7 920
6GB OCZ platinum 1600
Samsung 1TB F1 Spinpoint
Samsung SM2443BW 24"