I have this wonderful Belkin F9L1004 working under Windows.

I know it's built around an RTL8192CU chipset which should be currently supported by my Kubuntu machine as I can see the driver sitting in the /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-lowlatency/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/rtlwifi/rtl8192cu directory.

The kernel page is 2 yars old now:
http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/rtl819x .

lsusb is reporting it correctly as:

Bus 002 Device 002: ID 050d:1004 Belkin Components F9L1004 802.11n Surf N300 XR Wireless Adapter [Realtek RTL8192CU]

And, as suggested in another linux forum, I have checked in the "upstream" website at http://wiki.debian.org/rtl819x .

The "linux-firmware" package is already in place as well as the related firmware file:
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 16014 lug 20 22:30 /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8192cufw.bin

If I plug the dongle, something happens, but not much:
2012-10-06T09:44:42.497072+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4296.609608] usb 2-6: new high-speed USB device number 2 using ehci_hcd

If I manually load the driver, I can see something happening in the syslogs:

2012-10-06T09:52:34.649019+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.358574] cfg80211: Calling CRDA to update world regulatory domain
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705160+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412415] cfg80211: World regulatory domain updated:
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705179+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412417] cfg80211: (start_freq - end_freq AT bandwidth), (max_antenna_gain, max_eirp)
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705184+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412419] cfg80211: (2402000 KHz - 2472000 KHz AT 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705187+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412421] cfg80211: (2457000 KHz - 2482000 KHz AT 20000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705190+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412422] cfg80211: (2474000 KHz - 2494000 KHz AT 20000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705193+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412424] cfg80211: (5170000 KHz - 5250000 KHz AT 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
2012-10-06T09:52:34.705196+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.412425] cfg80211: (5735000 KHz - 5835000 KHz AT 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
2012-10-06T09:52:34.761135+02:00 Feynman kernel: [ 4768.469773] usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8192cu

(The 5 GHz stuff is puzzling to me, anyway).
But neither ifconfig nor iwconfig reports any new interface to be configured.

So my points so far are:

1. Why have I to manually load the module?
2. How to fix this?
3. How can I check whether the firmware file has been loaded?
4. What'd be next?

TIA.