Keep wicd, just because I know it works and it's nicer than Gnome's nm-applet, in my humble opinion.
Anyway, yeah, the patched madwifi is how mine works. Do the following:
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`
tar -xvzf madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007.tar.gz
sudo make install
Reboot, and see whether wicd will now recognize the madwifi driver and ath0.
If not, you might also need "acer_acpi," It's easily Googlable, and I believe has already been replaced by something more up-to-date in Hardy (although not quite working for me yet with the current Hardy alpha kernel). If you install acer_acpi, be sure to modify /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and comment out its blacklist entry, as well as add acer_acpi to /etc/modules. The acer_acpi module is how I got sound and some of my keyboard hotkeys working.
If you need to install acer_acpi, I believe it'll also mess with your network interfaces, treating your firewire port as eth0. If it does, you can modify /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules, switching eth0 and eth1 on whichever devices have eth? assigned.