I cheat. I take my SGS to my friend who's a Samsung tech. He uses ODIN and the whole procedure is a snap. He doesn't mess with Kies, and I won't either. After reading all the postings regarding Kies over these past 20 months I'm convinced that the piece of Crapware called Kies has caused more people more grief than any one software product out there.
I refuse to use Kies. I've got better things to do in my life than spending hours, or DAYS...TRYING to get some crap software to do what it was (supposedly) designed to do.
Kies is a big FAIL and should have been replaced by Samsung LONG ago. Most people who try to use it are in for a lot of (needless) hassle and frustration.
IMHO.....Odin is the way to go,...and having a friend who is a Samsung tech do the FW upgrade for you is even better.