Checked and recheck all my settings with a lot of info found on the sites, but I still could not get connected.
The problem was for sure the port forwarding, eventhough my Router was configured correctly and so was Win-XP firewall (and yes I did disable this at first but still did not work!). What I found was the new router I installed supports "UPnP" and eventhough I configured the firewall to forward port 30000 to my PC, it would not work.
Here is my solution:
1. Check if your router supports Upnp and make sure it's turned on.
2. XBMC does not support UPnP so you need to make sure this is running on the XP pc. It was not running on my PC.
3. To verify you have Upnp installed and running, open "My Network Places" and on the left side under "Network Tasks"; Click the "Show icons for networked UPnP devices".
4. If already installed and running: You should see your router listed and if you click on this it will open the admin page in your browser.
5. If not installed: XP will install drivers and then enable the service; then you should see item 4 above.
This allows Win-XP and the XP-Firewall to communicate directly with the router and configure the required ports.
I hope this helps others.