i had the 1611 error on my 3g.
it has been buggin me for about 6 months.
durring a restore the progress bar on my phone would get half way or sometime no distance before getting a 1611.
I tried and I tried to fix it over the last 6 months.
this is how I got around it today.
I used a short cable (about 15cms) to connect my phone to my Imac. I removed excess usb devices.
I did the "#" before GS.APPLE.COM thing in the host file.
tried several restores and always 1611.
then while doing other stuff (I'm trying to study for exams at the moment) my Imac had a kernal panic and shut down.
When I restarted I tried a restore and it worked and my 3g is back to life.
a fluke? lucky? a combination of cable/#gs.apple.com/restart?
I don't know, but my phone works.
note- I didnt go into DFU mode as my home button is broken