After spending ~10 hours, reading a LOT of the how to's on fixing wireless on Compaq V5000. I found the (an) answer, which is a combo of this thread and a few other fixes, I thought I would wrap it all up. This worked on Ubuntu 12.04, I will be testing it on some other current releases soon (debian, Mint, Xubuntu)
Step #1 Make sure the wireless driver in "additional drivers" is not activated.
Step #2 Install ndiswrapper from Synaptic Package Manager. Type "ndis" in the search bar and install all 5 packages that start "ndis" (excluding ndisc6 - in my case anyway). Installing ndiswrapper-dkms solves a bug (discussed here)
Step #3 Run "lspci | grep Broadcom\ Corporation" in terminal to determin your wireless adapted model #. Then find appropriate .exe here. Look for "Step 2: Download and Extract Drivers", about 3/4 of way down page. Create a new folder in your home directory (name it whatever you want), download and extract into that. Extract by double-clicking file and selecting extract.
Step #4 Type "sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer b43-fwcutter" in terminal. This fixes another bug where firmware doesn't get installed (discussed here).
Step #5 Run ndiswrapper from launcher (labeled "Windows wireless drivers" on my system) and click "install new driver" - select the .inf file from the extracted .exe you created in step #3
Step #6 Reboot (not sure if this is needed but can't hurt)
That should do it. I actually did steps 4 & 5 in reverse order, as soon as I finished step 4, I had wireless, no reboot needed. I think the steps as I listed above are the better way to do it though. So if there is anyone still using a V5000 laptop, I hope this helps.
P.S. I know these instructions are usually given completely with terminal commands. I like using the GUI when I can and that is how it worked for me.