Right side only: tonsil very swollen, burns, neck pain, ear pain w/ ringing. Dr said it's not ear infection or strep (quick culture). Tonsillitis?

Maybe. Naming the infection gets a little fuzzy (tonsilitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis). Most are viral infections that have typical 7-10 day span. Important to rule out strep (moreso for children) because it is treatable and may have serious effects if not treated. Any inflammation in this tight area can cause lymphoid/tonsil swelling, ear discomfort, soreness. Worst case may be abscess under the tissue.