Second thoughts….Linksys WRT1900AC

Despite my initial enthusiasm over this router after looking into it a bit more I'm not convinced it's all it makes out to be..
My first broadband router was a Linksys WRT54G and eventually upgraded to the 'S' version which featured speed boost. I have fond memories of this router as found it to be reliable and highly configurable with the addition of third-party firmware, in fact it's one of the reasons I still use Linksys networking equipment at home to this day. But is the new WRT1900AC just an attempt to get those of us with deep routed (no pun intended) soft spot for our little blank and blue boxes to part with our hard earned cash?

The 'open source ready' feature they mention in their sales literature is some what a ruse as most consumer grade routers can have OpenWRT or DD-WRT installed on them to open up a whole host of new features, indeed OpenWRT was originally developed for the Linksys WRT54G range so being 'open source ready' is actually nothing new but appears to be nothing more than a sales gimmick.
People are still buying and selling the old WRT54G routers and there is a clear demand for them despite their ageing hardware but this is where the new version shines, featuring a sleek new look (but still harbouring the colours and curves of the original to tempt us even more) dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi, 4 gigabit lan ports eSATA and USB 3.0 ports for attaching external storage. The hardware spec alone is sweet enough to make the geekiest of us to blush and say "shut up and take my money!". 
But here's the clanger and it's a big one for me and that's the price. Cheapest i've found it is £219.99 and for something that i'm likely to take out the box and install free third-party firmware on doesn't sit right. There are some very good spec alternatives on the market for less money, BUT it has an eSATA port I hear you cry, I can honestly say at all the time i've been in networking never have I thought "I need a router with an eSATA port". USB 3.0 is nice but after my previous attempt using an external drive on my Linksys WAG router and banging my head in frustration at the slower than a kerb crawler cruising on a friday night throughput I ditched it vowed never to return or I would subject myself to a thousand lashings with a cauliflower.
I am due a router upgrade soon but unless it drops to around the £100 mark I may finally be tempted away from the Linksys stable.  

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