I had to install the Intel 1000 wireless drivers,
and use wicd-client or wicd-curses to bring up the interface.
Possibly there was some magic dust that got into the machine during the process, because I recall being surprised that at one point it began to start working very suddenly.
Also, I found that periodically I had to run-
$sudo /usr/sbin/rfkill unblock wifi
...particularly if the machine went to sleep or was rebooted.