I was on the edge at giving up on Ubuntu just like you and I am a returning linux user..so not a total newbie.As always,the most elegant solution is the simplest one.In my case "cvt" generated wrong data,which I just discovered after few days of headaches.
In short,you will have to use "xvidtune" to generate new numbers,which you will have to insert either in your xorg.conf or xrandr command line tool.If inserting in xorg.conf you should have similar line in your Monitor Section:
Modeline "1280x1024_60.00" 108.88 1280 1284 1420 1712 1024 1025 1028 1064 -HSync +Vsync
If using "xrandr" to change resolution you should use something like this:
xrandr --newmode your_choice_of_name 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120
xrandr --addmode VGA1 your_choice_of_name
xrandr --output VGA1 --mode your_choice_of_name
Of course,changing the numbers with the one from "xvidtune"
I just hope I helped somebody,because I spent many hours trying to resolve that problem and couldn't seem to find solution to it.