Impressed as I was, the pi worked with the WiFi gizmo out of the box, once I setup the keys and SSID from the desktop. But really DHCP is not ideal especially if you want to use only the ssh server (don’t care much about the mouse and desktop fluffy stuff).
Ran into a roadblock trying to enable static IP, searched high and low but could but configure a static route for the USB Micro WiFi dongle (belkin).
Finally got it working by updating the default interfaces config, changed the default from dhcp to static and added the ip properties:
iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp
iface wlan0 inet manual
iface default inet static
Hope this helps someone in the same boat.