... a default option with the Dell Inspiron line of laptops (adapter card is item #430-2820)
I recently installed two laptop and a wireless home network. One was an Inspiron with the referenced Dell Wireless N mini-card. The other was a Dell XPS notebook with an Intel 4965AGN Wireless-N mini-card.
The Dell wireless adapter had two issues.1) It's range was quite poor. Just going across our house (60 feet or so) and the signal degraded to "fair or poor". My XPS with the Intel wireless adapter saw "strong to excellent signals" in the same location.
2) Even when operating in the same room as the wireless router the Insprion was very unreliable coming out of sleep mode. The only solution that I found that worked every time was to wait at least 7 minutes (sometimes as long as10 minutes) and your connection would be re-established. Sometimes the "Diagnose and Repair" path (Control Panel -> Networking -> Network and Sharing) would work (either reset adapter or request new IP address). But sometimes it wouldn't and sometimes it would take multiple tries. My tentative conclusion is that it was doing nothing helpful and was just a way to pass the time while your connection finally got re-established. My XPS with the Intel card takes (usually) 5-10 seconds and occasionally 30 seconds, but never longer.
I would strongly suggest that folks buying the Dell Insprion laptop avoid this Dell Wireless adapter - the Intel is a relatively inexpensive upgrade for this machine ($25). Or you can take my path where you buy the Dell adapter and Dell will work on your machine remotely for several hours and finally send you the adapter upgrade for free :-)
ps. FWIW, I would view the Dell support that I received as decent by remote support standards.