Tried your workaround Terry.
1. The network now starts OK on bootup.
2. The panel applet still only shows the connected network.
3. I clicked on "Disconnect Wireless" and the other networks showed up.
4. Tried to connect again and the network stayed down.
5. Went to "Configure network", set it up again, and it connected just fine.
Thanks for your efforts, I can now use PCLinux again and ditch the other distro
Toshiba Satellite laptop, fully updated 32 bit KDE 2012.8, Wifi adaptor Realtek RTL8188CE, kernel 3.2.18-pclos2.bfs