I have a dell inspiron6000. Not long after i got it the wireless card sort of died - it still looked as though it was working to the system but neither sent nor received - sounds like yours? Eventually i got a replacement (a Broadcom) card and installed and no more issues. I'm pretty sure the transmitter/receiver part of the card died. The only way i could test it was by replacement, not convenient at all. By the way, Broadcom cards are not automatically installed in linux 9.10 either. i'm relatively inexperienced with linux and it took me 4 hrs of hunting to get instructions for getting, and installing the proprietary drivers using fw-cutter.
good luck - try the ubuntu community forums maybe if you're sure the card still works.