I agree with you that I am not willing to trade every % of the system resources to eyecandy and nice-to-have thingies
the point is for me that I tried 2 different pieces of hardware (both reported as basically fit for Linux) and could not get even one of them up and ready under Vector (to be fair, Debian, Ubuntu, MintLinux and a few others did not make me successful with this challenge as well). I flatter myselve as being an advanced user and I have read How-To's, googled the net, looked various forums, looked at the MadWifi instructions and invested hours of tries and errors for void.
I have no problems configuring the access data even with cli-tools in a config-file somewhere in a dubious place of an etc directory or whereever and working out the correct chmod status. But at least the basic recognition and embedding in the system should have worked.
I will stay with Vector and go on to try to get the hardware working now that I am sure it can be done (even the WPA encryption worked out of the box), but it would be a great improvement if Vector could manage WLAN in a simpler way as present.