I finally got the unlock code for my phone. This made me very happy. It should not have been as hard as it was but T-Mobile provided it after the second fax.
It's funny, every time I buy new stuff I always end up getting some unexpected education out of it. Here's what I learned today. The Galaxy S III does not present itself as a mass storage device via USB, it uses MTP. This has been mildly problematic. My Fedora machines were not prepared to deal with this. I've gotten things working but in a less than ideal manner. Something about the way KDE tries to automount it, or how it sees it as a camera OR - something with Samsung's MTP implementation is wacky.
What I have to do is plug in the phone in and then immediately mount it with mtpfs from the command line. If I wait too long it wont work. A little cheesy - but it will do until things catch up. There is a pymtp package in the repos - but I don't think it is supported any more. If it were I might play with it and see what I could do. Though I think things will get to a point where I just plug it in and it shows up properly in dolphin.
I do think it is odd that Google wrote an MTP browser for Apple machines but don't provide anything for linux. Samsung of course suggest using Kies - which is also only available on Win/Mac and a horrible little program anyway.
edit - fixed where I typed 'camera' instead of 'phone' on accident.