I have loaded Ubuntu 12.04 server 32 bit.
did not configure wlan0 during setup ... selected eth0 as primary access ( I wanted things clean to test).
iwconfig shows wlan0 no problems.
light is off on wifi NIC.
ifconfig wlan0 up
and then light comes on and I see it in ifconfig where before it wasnt.
no problems so far.
iwlist wlan0 scan
gives no results (there are dozens of wifi in my hood and my Droid shows my test AP next t this server).
(the person who figures it out will win ...
... a smiley face).