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Problems with fonts (Can't find TFM file)

I used to have a not-very-well-working installation of LaTeX (2e with
209 compatibility): not-very-well since sometimes I had problems with
fonts and similar. I asked around and the more common answer was: "The files 
are not in the right directories, and the system screws up when it needs a
file". So I followed the suggestions of the TUG Working Group, in particular
the directory map of TDS compliant TeX installation and now it is also worst.
Before the typesetting worked (although with some minor font problems!!).
Now it doesn't work anymore. When I try to typeset a file, the answer is:

airone> (dany) 17:latex user-model.tex
This is TeX, Version 3.1415 (C version 6.1)
LaTeX2e <1994/06/01>
Entering LaTeX 2.09 compatibility mode.
Document Class: article 1994/12/09 v1.2x Standard LaTeX document class
! Font OT1/cmr/m/n/12=cmr12 at 12.0pt not loadable: Metric (TFM) file not found.
<to be read again> 
l.64 \normalsize

If I force the typesetting the result is an empty file. The fonts/
folder is more or less as following:
	afm/ .....
	pk/ ......
	source/ .....
		adobe/ ..
		bitstream/ ..	
		public/	...	
	tmp/ ....
	type1/ ...
	vf/ ....

where the dots mean that there are other subdirs. 
Maybe I forgot to tell the system where to find the files or something like
Is there anyone that can help me? I have a very problem: I have an
important deadline I am not able to produce any output from 
my tex file. I am just a LaTeX user, not a LaTex-hacker not even an expert.

Thanks in advance


                                (o o)                     
        ||         Daniela D'Aloisi (dany@fub.it)           ||
        ||   	    FUB (Fondazione Ugo Bordoni)    	    ||
        ||     Via B. Castiglione 59, I-00142, Rome, IT     ||
        ||     ph. +39 6 54803422     fax +39 6 54804405    ||