Thank you trevius, your reply has shed a little bit of light on the issue.
A few follow up questions/information:
1) I am using EQ titanium, retail, fresh install, has not patched. I changed the eqhost.txt file before launching anything so nothing should have been patched.
2) I am accessing the game from home, meaning a linksys router, cable modem. I also placed an exception in Windows firewall for Everquest.
3) eqhost.txt is in fact saving changes. If I go and reopen the file, my changes are there. Im running Windows XP sp3.
4)"And just to be sure, make sure you created your shortcut to eqgame.exe and NOT everquest.exe." This I am not sure of, and could be my problem. I will check this when I get home from work.
Also I am a little curious why the tracert to eqemulator.net:5998 timed out. I was thinking either the URL was wrong/outdated or the login server was down. Judging from yoru response, the URL is correct and the login server should be up which leads me to wonder why I was getting a timeout on the tracert (command prompt tracert). The tracert 'hopped' to outside of my ISP which makes me think it is not a port/firewall issue on my end.
Again, thanks for the reply (and moving my thread).
PS: I did read your FAQ last night for a good deal of time, but none of the questions in that FAQ really fit my problem as I am unable to even get to the login/server select screen