"Anyway, following Dag's suggestion I ripped out the
wireless driver I compiled from source and tried to use what CentOS
provides. As before that simply didn't work. Then I installed the
rt73usb-firmware package from ELRepo. This worked after a fashion.
CentOS did recognize my wireless card and, three passwords later
(for the keyring and twice for my own WPA2 protected network) I
actually was able to connect. I did have one instance since
yesterday when NetworkManager locked up, something I used to see in
Ubuntu all the time. That, plus the relatively slow performance and
all the GNOME dependencies are just a few of the reasons why I tend
to truly hate NetworkManager."