Airport and Linksys WEP do not play well with each other

I have a MacBook Pro (15", 2.0ghz, 2gb RAM, 100gb HDD - OSX 10.4.8) connecting to Linksys AP's and/or Router with WEP.
I can NOT connect to WEP locked Linksys stuff. I have read all over the internets that you just prefix the WEP key with a $, but when I try and do that - OSX will not take the key - it just makes the "dunk" noise that means "you can't do that, stupidhead". I believe this information is for older versions of the Airport software.
This has happened with my WRT54g at home, as well as two WAP54GP's I just set up at my new office all with the latest / new firmwares.
Using the same key in Boot Camp/Windows (cut and pasted out of a text file on a USB thumb drive) it works just perfectly. Is there a way to get some more debug level info out of Airport when it tries to connect?
Here is a screenshot of my config:
Click me!
iMac G5 2.0 /\ 15" MacBook Pro /\ Core Solo Mac Mini   Mac OS X (10.4)   Black iPod Video 30g

Easiest solution is to use WPA instead, this is actually secure compared to WEP.
One of the problems with WEP is that the actual standard relies on a 10 character HEX key for 40bit WEP and a 26 character HEX key for 128bit WEP.
In order to make things easier for people, vendors use certain algorithms to convert simple alphanumeric passwords (or passphrases) into HEX keys, thus enabling people to use simple memorable WEP password rather than lengthy HEX keys.
The problem is that different vendors use different algorithms to generate the HEX key and therefore a ASCII password on an AEBS will be hashed differently on a Netgear client and vice versa.
One thing is a 13 character 128 bit WEP password will be hashed by all vendors in the same way (if you use 40bit WEP then a 5 character password is required).
Though sometimes not even that works and the HEX key must be used regardless.

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