So, I have this in my main computer, and all of a sudden it started to go flaky. Then I looked things up and went on the merriest chase ever. Seems people were recommending the proprietary Realtek driver, and that seemed to work for a while. Then, updating the kernel, and it was worse!
Also if you want to get rid of it, you have to find it in /lib .... modules.... etc. With kernel 3.7.8 I decided to go back to the notorious r8169 kernel driver. It didn't work compiled as a module, and I had to put it directly into the kernel (a * instead of an m). Now it's working perfectly, very fast, low on resources, and hasn't barfed yet.
This is the eternal fight with Linux open source drivers, and the nasty maker-gnomes. Eventually, the open source people get out all the glitches with no help from the gnomes. I would now say that you can use this chip with the latest kernel.... until something else happens.