To help myself out of such a jam I went with a router I could load up the open source firmware. This time it was the Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 and the firmware was called "white russian" with the WEBIF interface.
Rock solid and I can connect 2 houses down the street on my cheapo Acer.
I currently have a Linksys WCG200. It has constant problems with rebooting itself and erasing its config, which seem to be triggered by my VPN. Other users of this product also report the same issues. I have been searching for a replacement product, but in reading the reviews of the Motorola and Belkin products, it seems like they have the same sort of issues. Does anyone know if there is a product out there that offers this all-in-one funtionality and is also stable and reliable? I am trying to avoid going back to multiple components.