I have recently upgraded my laptop to Hardy via the update manager and since then my maximum wireless rate is only 1MB as reported via iwconfig.
I can set this to be higher by sudo iwconfig wlan0 rate 54M which works OK and all is fine and dandy. However I don't know how to get this to 'stick' following a reboot.

I am using fluxbox as WM in order to get a bit more out of my laptop resources (in fact I have the same problem above using Gnome), but I am using nm-applet in the fluxbox apps file to start network manager. This is fine and all wireless connections (my neighbours included) are shown in the list. OK so fine, I have tried using wireless-rate 54M in /etc/network/interfaces but I believe as I am using nm-applet this doesn't actually get used. It certainly doesn't appear to pick up this setting anyway as iwconfig still shows 1MB. There is no other settings in my interfaces file other than
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
so I believe the only way wireless is being connected is via nm-applet.

Question is then - how do I either set rate to be 54M in networkmanager (nm-applet) automatically or how do I set it automatically using iwconfig and the interfaces config file????

Wireless works absolutely fine with the way it is set up other than I can't get the max speed to be set automatically. This only has changed following update to 8.04 (which is pretty annoying).