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1680x1050 has worked out of the box for me for several years with several different distributions.
With the vesa driver?
I could be wrong, but I don't think 1680x1050 and 1440x900 are even standard vesa modes at all. But he's right, with my nvidia card in my laptop, it's always detected and set up 1680x1050 out of the box, then it's just a matter of switching to the nvidia driver.
I do know there was a laptop that I set up that had a Radeon 9700 in it. For some reason the radeon driver didn't work right in it, so I installed the fglrx driver, but had to wait for an update for it to look right. The version that was out at the time was broken for it's native resolution (which as 1440x800 or some weird resolution like that).