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Here's my fix for 'my computer doesn't recognize my Kindle 2'
Buy a new USB cable. I just got two on eBay for $7, including shipping.
They are OEM BlackBerry cables, and they work for the Kindle.
I bought them because both my PC (XP Pro, SP3) and my wife's PC (Vista Home Premium) would not recognize our Kindles.
Here's why.
If you compare the USB plug that came with your Kindle from Amazon (the male plug that plugs into your computer's USB Port) with any other USB cable you have lying around, you will see that the Amazon USB plug is about a millimetre shorter than a regular USB plug.
It's not making full contact when you plug it in, so, your computer doesn't recognize the drive.

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