What sort of problems are you running into with NFS? It would probably be easier to fix that than to try 20 different variations on samba or whatever else.
If you can paste the following info, we should be able to get an idea of what's up.
1. The mount information/command you're using to mount the NFS share.
2. The result from that command. Timeout?
Once we see that, it'll give us a bit of a clue as to where to go from there. NFS has a bunch of helper services as well which should be started under normal operation to ensure that mounts are handled correctly.
If a RH based machine, before trying the mount command again, you should do the following.
service portmap on
service nfs on
service nfslock on
service rpcidmapd on
That should fire off any of the necessary services that you need to get a proper NFS connection going. Make sure you do this on both machines. Also, you might take down your firewall (if installed) while trying to make the mount as that could be causing issues as well.