Have you tested the Wireless tools [link]? If you have, try looking into the info when you boot up the drivers command by command, which might help you if you notice any errors. Then there's the Linux Wireless LAN FAQ/How-to/something [link] (scroll down until you section 10 "Wireless configuration") and a Linux Documentation Project exist [here].
So basically you have to configure your card correctly and then it'll work as easily as in WinXP. It's just that the configuration isn't as easily seeable as in WinXP. Iwconfig and Ifconfig are t3h tools for that.
Hope I helped.