Just some thoughts fresh off of the forums:
So we're dealing with 2 whitelists here: (1) HP Mini 110's and (2) Mac OS X's.
Apparently, the 110's WiFi card model is in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's whitelist that's why it works in that version of OS X. It's not there in Snow Leo's. Obviously this card is in the HP Mini 110's whitelist cause hey, it's stock WiFi.
The 1000's WiFi is both in Leo and Snow Leo, so therefore no problem and again, obviously, it's in the HP 1000's whitelist since it's stock hardware again.
Now, based on prasys' post, there is (3) another checking done on the Mac OS X side; (a) Is this 3rd party hardware or (b) Apple branded. Depending on the result, Mac OS X will choose how the WiFi driver (IO80211Family) runs the card. That's why my 1000's broadcom card is seen as Third Party.
HP seems to have specific whitelists for different laptop and netbook models.
Then if you happen to have a WiFi card that's both in the whitelist for OS X (and Leo & Snow Leo is capable of driving it) and HP (depending on the laptop unit/model and if you've added it to your unit's whitelist), it seems still impossible to have it rebranded as a true blue Apple AirPort. You can perhaps stick that same WiFi card on a different laptop to rebrand it from there.
But moving forward, perhaps the easiest/most practical solution would still be to get a WiFi module that's on OS X's whitelists and which it sees as native AirPort and then just add it to the HP mini's whitelist.
Well, let's take again the 110's wifi as an ex. It seems to be in 10.5 Leo's whitelist of wifi cards - 10.5 Leo knows how to make the card work (right kexts) though it may or may not "know" it's true device id.
10.6 Snow Leo doesn't seem to have the 110's wifi on it's whitelist - it doesn't know how to make it work and I doubt Snow Leo recognizes what device it really is (what specific broadcom model).
The logical solution would be to get the 110's stock wifi card added to 10.6's whitelist and 10.6 must have a driver for it. Now that part, I've no idea how to do or even if it is possible or not.
Now the Atheros AR5B93 b/g/n is in 10.6 Snow Leo's whitelist - it knows how to drive it to make it functional. But it's not in the HP Mini 110's whitelist so it rejects it. We just need to add Atheros AR5B93 b/g/n to the HP Mini's whitelist and everything's okay then.