For anyone else that followed the thread to this point- this advice on bringing iptables back up on reboot worked for me http://rackerhacker.com/2009/11/16/automatically-loading-ipt... YMMV
The advice is not complete. IPv6 is real and really works most of the time these days. Back up your ip6tables to a file too. I like /etc/firewall-4.conf and /etc/firewall-6.conf but it's down to preference.
Know about iptables-apply too, lest you be caught unaware.