I just received the replacement wireless network card and installed it in a pcmcia port. It's a Belkin F5D7011 wireless g card utilizing a broadcom 4306 chipset.
The 5 gig hard drive currently in this Dell inspiron 5000e has windows XP on it. I know... I know... I'm not a huge windows fan, which is why when the replacement 80 gig hard drive shows up, it's going to have some form of arch or slackware on it. I have XP on the 5 gig drive to ensure that if there are any hardware problems with any of the upgrades I've made to this laptop that tech support can't whine that I'm using an unsupported Operating System. That and I dug out my old Civilization 3 cd's and I've been rather addicted to this series of games for years.
I must say that I've had zero problems with this card and XP detected it out of the box as a dell mini pci card and installed the broadcom drivers automatically. When I install linux on the new hard drive, I'll be using either the b43 module, or ndiswrapper. The STA drivers don't support this card, but I've had good success with b43 and ndiswrapper with my broadcom 4311 chipset on the Acer laptop.
The hard drive is due to arrive on the 29th and I'm excited. It's a Samsung SpinPoint 80GB UDMA/100 5400RPM 8MB unit and I expect performance to be quite an improvement over this 5 GB UDMA/66 4200 RPM 2MB IBM travelstar hard drive.
I'm thinking of using openbox or pekwm with fbpanel, pcmanfm, geany, peazip, and an assortment of lightweight applications to top it off. Goggles music manager looks interesting, and I may try mpd as well.
I'll keep you all posted on how things turn out.