Tech: phone outsells cable
ADSL price drops are long overdue, and should hopefully begin to push down the ridiculous price of cable. You can now get Telus ADSL service in Western Canada for $25/month, which is just over half the price of typical cable modem service. The price is meant to rise to $35/month after the first year, but when that happens you can simply cancel and move to another provider - or threaten to and convince Telus to leave your price alone. $25 is really the maximum I'll pay (and that's in Canadian funds - I know the US is still catching up, but I wouldn't pay more than the same dollar number there). High speed net access is nice, but it's far from essential. Not having it would just save me a lot of time now wasted playing BZFlag. ;)
As for wireless gateways, get a cheap D-link or Linksys 802.11b device, even if you have an Airport Extreme card. They support WPA with the latest firmware, and most people simply won't see any performance difference between 802.11b and 802.11g - the upstream link to the ISP is the bottleneck. In fact you may see better range and performance with the older devices, simply because there's so much 11b traffic out there that the 11g stuff is constantly having to back off to deal with it. I bought a Belkin 54g gateway, and it just wasn't worth it - I should have got the much cheaper D-link 802.11b that was alongside it. It's also true that the Belkin box is a poor performer and has lousy range (I can get a better signal from the Linksys, D-link and SMC boxes across the street than the Belkin device in my living room), but 11g in general is just an unnecessary expense at this point, and by the time you need it it'll be a dirt cheap commodity.
The only time you might want better wireless bandwidth is when sharing files between computers on the same LAN, and that's frankly too slow for large files via any wireless network, whether b or g - you'll almost always want to just plug in a cable and do it at 100Mbps. Rendezvous makes this trivially easy.
The one good reason for buying an 802.11g box at this point is to get the LinkSys one and replace the firmware with your own custom tweaked Linux distribution. But if you want to do that, you already know what you're doing and don't need this review. ;)
there's no way i'd put up with dial-up ever again! i'm now paying $45/month for cable broadband, but it's more than worth it since i consistently get 8+mbps! i wouldn't even be able to put up with dsl at this point, forget about dial-up. i've had broadband for about 4+ years now and would probably just stop using the internet altogether if i didn't have broadband in some form.