After a few hours searching and not finding an answer, does anyone know if thunderbird can be configured to work with Verizon DSL (Actiontec) wired model/router)? Simularly, can Ubuntu be configured to work with verizon dsl? Verizon tech reps say they have no knowledge of a solution. Mostly I get "connection timed out" message with all parameter variations I've tried.

Yes, your internet connection shouldn't matter as far as what software/os you are using.

Could you try giving us a little more information on the exact problem you're getting?