NetworkManager and KWifiManager do a pretty good job, though you often have to finick and fuss a fair bit. wicd (pronounced “wicked”), the wireless interface connection daemon, tries to do the job better, so we're going to give it a test drive.
Read it here
KWifiManager is happy on both machines and with all interfaces. wicd, on the other hand, had problems with the ancient Prism 1 interface, and it wasn't too sure about the wireless PC Card either. There may have something about Debian Testing that it didn't like, because it performed perfectly on the T61 in both Sidux and Kubuntu.