OK, just finished reformatting and testing on a fresh install of 64-bit Mepis, having never connected it to any wireless access point. I didn't see your post Stevo until after I had finished the process, but I may still have another chance before it's too late, on another piece of hardware.
For me, the prescribed method on the first post of this thread resulted in the same issue Richb encountered, so I will now confirm that smxi has no bearing on the cause.
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E: Error, pkgProblemResolver::Resolve generated breaks, this may be caused by held packages.
E: Unable to correct dependencies
I reverted to using Danums method as posted by Kmathern on the first page of this thread and discovered it best to enable both the cr and the cr test repo in conjunction with the experimental repo. The cr test repo would have been sufficient, but there were about 6 additional non-kde upgrades that were added, which can enhance the overall user experience of a finished product, though I forgot to keep the diff and it's gone now. The multimedia repo was of no use whatsoever and I tested it at every point, so that can remain either disabled or untouched.
End result, wireless works as it should, connected to my home wlan first time, however, on my netbook, I can only achieve 8mbps using the stock kernel, so I am just about to reboot with the liquorix 2.6.29 kernel from the repos to see if that improves things.
Also, I have to agree with Danum concerning the gtk2-engines-oxygen and kde-config-gtk-style packages, the default theme is terrible because it is impossible to make sense out of some of the black text on black background dialogues.
-- EDIT ---
All's well with the Liquorix kernel in place, wireless failed once only on a new connection after entering the passphrase, but kept the credentials were not lost as before and it connected on second attempt simply by clicking on access point name in NetworkManager. Speed increased to 72.2mbps