I use one of the mentioned Atheros based wifi cards (Netgear) with success.
Much more cheaper is Ralink based wifi hardware. I use a 802.11g Turbo USB wifi dongle (RT73 chipset) and a 802.11g Turbo PCMCIA wifi card (RT61 chipset) also without problems. There a drivers from Ralink or serialmonkey, both are working perfect.
I prefer the Ralink wifi hardware, because NO wpa_supplicant is needed to run WEP, WPA or WPA2.
And the price was quite good:
USB dongle (usable with 1.1 or 2.0) 9,98 €
PCMCIA card 13,98 €