I have an rt61 based network card. The serialmonkey project have reversed engineered the Linksys drivers and provide native drivers for linux. This is what I compiled, loaded and is currently using. But I've had issues with the layers on top of the driver. For example, configuring the network access using iwconfig has proven not to work. At least not directly. KWifiManager and KWlan have also both failed. I'm able to connect to the internet by manually configuring 4 things.
1) First, I set a network profile with VASM. Strangely, VASM correctly created the config file but fails to execute it to connect to the access point
2) I modify the /etc/modprobe.conf file to use the correct module (ie. the "rt61" module) and alias it as wlan0.
3) I added my interface (wlan0) in the /etc/ifplugd/ifplugd.conf file under the "INTERFACE=" argument.
4) I modified the /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 file to use the correct network interface. I'm in unfamiliar territory with this, but I believe this last script is executed during boot, and this is what basically lets me have internet as soon as I login. Although strangely enough, sometimes it doesn't work and I don't know why.
The only other method that let me connect to the internet is through Wifi-Radar. But I don't like it so much because it doesn't let me start the connection automatically. I find it cumbersome to have to start wifi-radar manually, enter the root password and then select the access point I want to connect to everytime I boot my computer.