Since you see the problem in association with wireless setup, it's very likely that X is unhappy because it can't relate it's host name (your machine name) and an IP address.
If you were running a graphical xdm sort of login rather than doing startx manually, you'd likely see a gripe message warning of 'Can't find host name, May not be able to continue' or some warning language to that effect.
X needs to see the following entries in /etc/hosts:
# For loopbacking.
And something along these lines:
127.0.0.1 Hitachi-70.tigerden.net Hitachi-70
or for a static (non-DHCP address) IP
<IP number> <FQDN> <hostname>
where FQDN is the fully qualified domain name, and hostname is the short alias name of the machine.
Also, be sure the machine *always* sets up a loopback route (use 'route' to see):
loopback * 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
Since X can map it's display to entirely different machines over the network, it tends to get quite unhappy if it can't figure out interface/IP relationships, and that include the purely internal loopback interface to the 'lo' localhost interface.
The fact that your machine sometimes works for a while after wireless is started may relate to DHCP lease refreshing. Having hard numbers/names in /etc/hosts keeps the local host's internal loopback routing consistent.