I tried Wi-Fi again from this system -- I am writing this post using it now. Browsing hiccuped just once; it partially loaded this forum page. I clicked refresh and it fully loaded. Then I tried going to several sites including ones with videos, streaming sound, etc. All seems to work fine. The only weird thing is that "Connection Failed" error messages keep popping up when I connect, only to have the network monitor status bar indicator go green check mark, and then browsing works fine. The error messaging for connections seems to be out of sync in some weird way and gives false statuses, but at least I know I can connect now.

Again I have X driver issues when I try to turn on desktop effects. So I have no desktop effects yet. As I said earlier I'll start a new thread for this issue.