Well, the Linksys wirelesss USB card came in the mail today. The one I bought despite the number of bad reviews it got from Amazon.
So far so good. It gets a little bit quirky if you pull it out while running, but other than one driver reinstall when this happened, no other problems. Connects fast and as yet hasn't dropped a line.
When I was looking back at the reviews for this product, one caught my eye. It was from a poster called mhk1999. It caught my eye because I remembered the handle from somewhere. Sure enough, after looking back at other sites selling the same product, this reviewer had pretty much spammed the same negative review everywhere:
When this product works, it works. However it will occasionally shut down and then the only way to reconnect is to shut down the whole computer. If you are in the middle of several things like working on photos, graphics and the internet, you have to shut down all those programs, restart the computer to get the internet to work and then pull up all your work again. Simply unplugging the adapter will not do it and there is no way to "repair" connection except shutting down the computer. I've had it with this adapter.
Now whoever this person is, they are definitely entitled to do this. However, from a fellow consumer's point of view, this heavily biases the negative side of this product.
This is one person's view from one trial of one product, posted AT LEAST 5 times on separate sites they definitely didn't all buy from.
Just another example of how self selecting samples can be dangerous.