Got the intel "Centrino Advanced-N" 6200 wifi working on this Dell. That meant downloading a "firmware" archive, iwlwifi-6000-ucode-184.108.40.206.tgz, from Intel's site, and dumping iwlwifi-6000-4.ucode into /lib/firmware. ("apt-get install firmware iwlwifi" might do the job, but that has version 9.193.) I also had to run "rfkill unblock all", and make sure the rfkill switch was off. ("rfkill list" helped.) Astonishingly, somebody actually thought it would be a good idea for the wifi connectivity light on the keyboard to flicker whenever net activity happens, i.e. all the damn time. To fix it, I had to create a file /etc/modprobe.d/iwlcore.conf containing "options iwlcore led_code=1". Now it's just on, steady, when wlan0 is up. Seems like a good default to add to module-init-tools.
I tried setting up pulse-audio on another (intel HDA) box. The process was distressingly similar to the last time, two years ago, e.g. manually editing /etc/asound.conf. Results seem a little more successful than last time, but I made the mistake of trying to use Ekiga to test it. Ekiga appears to be too buggy, still, for the results to mean anything.