Here is what usually happens:
1. Remove connections and re-boot. Then, right click on the network icon and select "configure network".
a. A list of available connections appears, I select the one I want and the "Network Settings" window opens.
b. All information is correct including encryption (wpa/wpa2). I enter password, proceed through the remaining defaults and connection is made; 5 bars and link level=100%. All is well.
2. Instead of 1. above, if I left click the network icon the "Network Center" window opens. However, there usually is no list of available connections even after clicking "refresh" (on unpredictable occasions the list does appear).
3. With the connection made, if I right click on the icon and select "Wireless Networks" from the drop down list, sometimes a complete list appears, but usually only the current connection appears.
a. If I left click on the current connection:
(1) The network icon changes from 5 bars to 1 and the link level goes to 0%.
(2) The "Network Settings" window opens and shows that settings are proper except encryption has reverted to WEP.
b. The connection still works OK with no noticeable change in performance.
4. If I disconnect the current connection:
a. Left click the network icon opens "Network Center". However, no list appears. So, no re-connection can be made.
b. Right click the network icon and select "Wireless Networks". Again, usually only the previous connection appears; sometimes there is a list.
c. Left clicking the connection name opens the "Wireless Settings" window.
d. If I either leave the WEP encryption in place or change it to WPA/WPA2 and then click "connect", the connection will fail.
e. I must go to "Configure Network" in order to re-make the connection.
I hope this provides some clues as to what is going on.
BTW, I don't think I mentioned that I am using Gnome. Don't know if that makes any difference.