I've poked around the source for Lucent's wavelan2_cs (v 6.02) driver, and I found the cryptic comment that as of the 6.06 firmware, Lucent no longer supports their "ad-hoc" mode, which was a nonstandard quasi-IBSS-type service.
Instead, they are supporting full 802.11(b) IBSS standard peer-to-peer networking. Going from the Windoze drivers, this mode seems to need the ESSID, and can be on any channel, not just channel 3 (seems to auto-hunt and negotiate the channel). As far as I can tell, this is mainly a firmware issue, and driver software changes to support this should be small.
I'd take a look to see what Lucent's driver is doing, but it just hangs... even with full debugging on. Looks like I'll have to try to custom frutz their code to see what changes need to be made on the wvlan_cs code.
All my cards are on the same firmware (I doublechecked). I suspect that the software only needs a tweak to get it to run.
Lucent, I have three little letters for you... GPL!!! Grr...