It has taken me ages to get it to work, but I'm posting this message connected to the internet by my Netgear WN111v2.
Thought I'd post the solution in case anyone else searches the forum for help.
It was a firmware problem after all, but adding the ar9170.fw firmware package didn't help me. After trying all kinds of things, it seems the ar9170 firmware is NOT the firmware needed - it has been superseded by carl9170-1.fw
I went to this page here:http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/carl9170#Firmware-1
then downloaded the carl9170-1.fw firmware and as root, placed it in /lib/firmware
I then put my Netgear WN111v2 dongle in a USB slot and ran pcc>Network & Internet>Set up a new Interface... and chose the non-ndiswrapper option and all went well. For some reason it found my wifi network but refused to connect the first two times, but is working fine now.