Mint 15 is working pretty well so far aside from my previously mentioned issues with the wireless card in my laptop. Problems ranged from high dropped packet rates to disconnects to the truly bizarre, such as inability to ping the wireless access point it’s connected to yet being able to ping the other machines it’s connected to through that access point. Since that is also the default gateway, that means it loses any connectivity to the outside world.
After a web search, the solution appears to be disabling hardware encryption. The wireless chip is apparently overloaded trying to do the encryption as well as everything else it has to do, which makes sense because it would normally go horribly wrong when starting Firefox, which hits the Internet to download a number of web pages when restoring the old configuration.
To do this, create a file /etc/modprobe.d/rtl8192se.conf and put the following line in it:
options rtl8192se swenc=1
This forces software encryption, which appears to be an insignificant overhead on an i5 CPU. Since enabling this I’ve run for a few hours with no problems, but I’ll update this if I do.