I appreciate your reply, although I have since managed to convince Lexar to replace the device. So far, the new device works perfectly. I guess it was a hardware problem, althouth I remain perplexed about how it continued to work under XP - albeit not very well - but eventually would not work at all under Linux.
By the way, I am quite pleased to find another averatec owner who uses linux. I have yet to get mandrake 10 working satisfactorily on my laptop and am thus forced to use XP b/c I rely so heavily on my laptop for day to day stuff. I would love to correspond with you on some other issues (particularly power management and wireless networking), so I can completely divorce myself from windows on this machine.