Here are the tools that matter. Tha min one being Wicd, the “wired and wireless network manager for Linux”.
nmcli nm-applet ifconfig iwconfig wicd wpa_supplicant
Apparently nmcli the network manager command line tool doesn’t know how to get a list of existing networks, so you’ll still need to get a list from somewhere else, possibly if nm-applet has command line options or the other wireless utilities listed below.
One of these days I’ll put an actual list of useful commands for these.