I have come to the conclusion that if Android encounters a WiFi point that does not have WEP/WPA security, but instead, uses some corney web based HTML login code or password, Android goes bonkers.
Because Android is a very connected OS, the first thing that it tries to do on receipt of an IP address, it attempts to connect to Google services, and fails because it’s not fully on the Interet until it submits the correct HTML code. So the Android framework, that almost all Android apps depends on, Fails! And because the framework fails, the various browsers fail, and you can’t get to the login page to enter the unlock code to the portal, because you have no working browsers.
A classic “Catch 22” issue. An issue that my N900 does not have