I mentioned the ApacheLounge binaries as on that site, they claim that their binaries are compiled with VC9 and the ones from Apache.org are compiled with VC6. I have no way to test this without Windows, but I guess that means the binaries are also linked to the latest VC runtime library, which is probably why it has improved performance. Well, I guess that's all I have to say about the binaries. I just wanted to find out what you thought about the improved performance claim, if you don't think that's necessary, I'll respect your decision.
Finally, Linux. Which distributions did you
use? Did you install the distributions on your hard disk or did you use a LiveCD? I don't have any experience with wireless routers, however, as far as I know, when that's not working, [[wikipedia:NdisWrapper|NDISwrapper]], a driver wrapper, is usually mentioned. There is a [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/index.php?/component/option,com_openwiki/Itemid,33/id,list/ list of supported cards] on their site. I'm not sure if that's a suitable solution to your problem as I don't know if your network card is not detected by the distributions you tried because the proper drivers were not compiled into the kernel or because your card incompatible with Linux (not natively supported).