Ok, wanted to give an official follow up to this, as I actually reached a solution this time.
That issue is caused by a bug in the ath9k driver, introduced with the kernels > 3.1. Thats why the recent upgrades (which included an upgrade to the 3.2.2 kernel if you were on -current) broke it. My reinstall fixed the issue because it rolled back the kernel to 22.214.171.124. When I built a kernel this time, I noticed the same issue popped up and did a search regarding driver glitches with this kernel build.
The solution to this problem is to apply two patches to the driver:
then rebuild the modules for whatever kernel you happen to be using.
Hope this helps anyone still having issues with the card.
I've never patched a driver and wouldn't know where to start. Obviously back everything up first. But I don't even know where the drivers are located.