What is your OS?
I have a Samsung Galaxy S and it shows up as external device when connected to desktop or laptop but it can take a while. You should hear the standard USB connect sound. Kies launches ok but rather slowly. Do you have the latest version of Kies? When connected I can access the phones memory through explorer (using Computer/My Computer) and copy and paste photos without using Kies.
Kies is fairly poor imo.