I know it is a stupid thing to start with a remark like this - I'll do it anyway
wicd is working nicely for me - I only got problems when I connect to AdHoc networks (it will say "not connected" while it actually is...).
wicd writes a log-file - for me it is in /var/log/wicd/wicd.log
Some or all of this info could also be found in the system log.
or - for me:
Open a terminal and run:
sudo tail /var/log/syslog
sudo tail /var/log/wicd/wicd.log
to see what is going on.
Cafe's and the like:
If they would be using anything other than an encrypted WPA or WEP connection there would be many people having problems.
I've never been in such a cafe - what do they give you? A key? Written down? No extra info whatsoever?
If they don't give you info of a specific nameserver you can be sure that an IP will be assigned to you via dhcp.
So - no static IP or DNS server to fill in.
Just check the "use encryption" box to be able to put in passphrases or equivalent.
Also I have never had to use any pre- or post connection script ever - and they likely would tell people if special things where neccesary.
wicd - for me - detects the network and also shows the type of encryption used.
the "properties" button for that network will let you add the key - usually the right method is pre-selected.
Try a different method - there are only 5.
WPA1/ (Preshared Key)
WEP in variants HEX, Passprase, Shared/Restricted
...well - maybe more:
LEAP with WEP
TTLS with WEP
- I don't even know what these are - and they probably are not easy enough to set up even for windows users so they will probably not be used - or some setup instructions will be given.
You are using Ubuntu?
try "network-manager" instead - though I don't know what it would do differently and much better than wicd.