you said that lesson 1 of the nehe tutorials does give you an hardware accelerated context.
looking at the tutorial, it seems to specify 16 BPP(doesn't specify bits per color component), and a 16 bit z-buffer.
don't know if that will help, but perhaps we should step back and see why that works, but sdl does not.
Yesterday i was playing a bit with the code that creates an accelerated rendering context changing the SUPPORT_OPENGL feature as well as the pixel format to PDF_FORMAT_GENERIC and i wasnt still getting HW ACCELERATION, i ll keep messing with it til i find a way to disable hardware acceleration.
That may be a way to investigate yes.
i've attached a program i wrote to test your video settings, tell me if it still gives you an generic rendering context.
Thanks, I ll try it as soon as i can.