Does the list exists in the root of the site collection or in a sub site?
If the list is in the root than you can call it with:
If the list you request is on a subsite you need to call the web service like this
Bill Baer outlines the required ports. If you want to test it, I created the People Picker Port Tester which you would run from the SharePoint server(s). The query is only done from the SharePoint server. End user machines do not need those ports open to the remote DCs.
TCP/UDP 135, 137, 138, 139 (RPC)
TCP/UDP 389 by default, customizable (LDAP)
Yes Public IP is a must also you have to configured your router with port forwarding to..
above article might help you to get this thing done.
all sharepoint does is read AD, I'm also the system admin who installed sharepoint 2010 also on a VM for the front end server and had it create its database's on an existing MSSQL 2005 DB server. No Problems, works great actually its nice to have a intranet to ties in with AD so very well.
Installing SharePoint doesn't do anything to your Active Directory schema.
There is also no reason to not have the VM on the network - we have multiple SharePoint development VMs that are on our domain. We remote into them (and restrict permission to each individual VM) in order to do development.
Having the VM on the domain is very helpful. No need ...
This is a quick devop hack to your complex scenario:
Have the developers connect to a remote session on the VM based on logon accounts from the VMs isolated Active Directory. Get all the dev tools on the VM and they should be good. To avoid interruptions from application pool resets have them work on different Web Applications.