Here's a quick update on my experience with my netbook, Ubuntu and 3G connectivity. As reported previously, the 3G connectivity manager built into Ubuntu works (most of the time) but doesn't have some important administrative functions included such as network and network type selection and some general observational functions such as current network name and signal strength indications.
At least the later functions are included in the Linux 3G Dashboard from Vodafone Betavine, which works great with my Huawei E220 USB 3G stick. The screenshot on the left shows how signal strength and the network name is displayed in the lower left corner of the dashboard. Nicely done!
What's still missing is a network selection dialogue and to be able to lock the USB stick to 3G, which sometimes helps to stay connected in bad signal conditions. It would be nice to see this in a future version. Also, having the possibility to select a different connection profile on the main screen would also be nice, especially for people (like me) who travel a lot.
To install the dashboard go to this Vodafone Betavine project page, and download and install all packages from the download section.