You can manually configure the IP address using Terminal (under the Utilites menu in Lion Recovery):
networksetup -setmanual ethernet [IP Address] [Subnet Mask] [Default Gateway]
ex: networksetup -setmanual ethernet 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.254
To Set DNS to get to websites (example will be for Google's DNS service)
networksetup -setdnsservers ethernet 220.127.116.11
I regularly have to do this on new Macs I am preparing to deploy. A system has to have a registered ethernet MAC address before it can receive a DHCP address.