I downloaded the Realtek module from their web site, compiled it, blacklisted the rtl8180 module and had no problems connecting it to my access point with a fairly strong connection.
root@artume:~# uname -a
Linux artume 22.214.171.124-smp #2 SMP Mon Dec 7 16:02:16 CST 2009 i686 Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
I downloaded the rtl8185_linux_26.1030.0625.2009 version of the module. I just looked and saw that they have updated it since I installed it on Jan 22nd.
root@artume:~# lsmod|grep 8180
r8180 99720 0
ieee80211_rtl 60064 1 r8180
wlan0 802.11b/g linked ESSID:"xxxxx"
Mode:Managed Frequency=2.442 GHz Access Point: 00:07:40:01:00:2C
Bit Rate=54 Mb/s
n RTS thr
ff Fragment thr
Link Quality=89/100 Signal level=-33 dBm Noise level=-113 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
This is with wpa_supplicant configured for WPA2-PSK.
I just ran a bandwidth test via speakeasy.net, and am getting the full 10mb download throughput.
Download Speed: 11244 kbps (1405.5 KB/s transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 2119 kbps (264.9 KB/s transfer rate)
This machine is perhaps 10 meters from the access point, but is going through a fairly thick floor. I get app'x 900KB/s transfer rates using wget when downloading a file from another wireless client on my network.
I had no success at all with the rtl8180 kernel module.
This is the lspci -v info for this card:
02:09.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8185 IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 20)
Subsystem: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8185 IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Controller
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 66, IRQ 18
I/O ports at 1000 [size=256]
Memory at f8303000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512]
Capabilities:  Power Management version 2
Kernel driver in use: rtl8180
Kernel modules: r8180, rtl8180
The 'Kernel driver in use' is wrong.
It is unfortunate that this module does not compile for you, mawkernewek.