At the moment you can't mine solo because you don't have the complete blockchain. It around 125857 now. From what you wrote it's obvious that your client is having problems connecting to the network. If you wait I am sure it will eventually find peers and complete the download. If you don't want to wait, you need to open the 8333 port on your computer or/and router facing the Internet. The easy way to achieve this is to go to "Settings"->"Options"->and check "Map forwarding using UPnP". Then restart the client.
Alternatively, you could join a pool because if you continue solo, in all likelihood, it will be weeks or months before you get your first reward.
One Question I'm planning on building about 3 rigs that each would in theory generate 2.1 Ghash/s At that point should I mine solo and what programs should I use to mine solo using cards.