Over the last couple of years, I had two cisco/linksys gigabit switches die on me. I've been around networking and computers for a long, long time, and I've never seen switches go out. They've always been rock solid and always reliable. I have seen a switch port go out, but that's about it. About two years ago I started using a small cisco/links gigabit 8 port switch (SD2008) for my network, and one day all the switch ports were dead. Power cycling, etc. did nothing for it so I had to replace it with an extra old switch I had laying around. I thought it was weird and that it was a fluke. Fast forward to last month, and a friend of mine has the same switch (SD2008) near the time I purchased mine, except it's now branded as linksys, and we started experiencing problems with the network.
We started debugging his network problems. Ping times were super slow, and we were experiencing about 40% packet loss. We started debugging the problem by elminating nic cards, cables, computers, powere cycling the switch, tracerouting, etc. No matter what we couldn't improve the problem. I was about to say it had to be ISP problems or the cable modem. I realized we didn't take the switch out of the loop. So we hard wired the uplink line directly to a box and what do you know, 0% dropped packets and good ping times. I wanted to see if it was a bad switch port, but all ports acted the same. We powered down the switch for a while then powered it up again and everything seemed to be back to normal. The environment has a cool temperature, so I don't think it was overheating, etc. A day or two after it started happening again. So another switch problem off of this same switch model.
I started to go to Dell, and I came across the PowerConnect 2708 switch. I've been a big fan of the PowerConnect switches. I already own 2016 and 2216 switches and not experienced any problems with those. The PowerConnect 2708 switch has 8 Gigabit ports and is web managed! I'm always amazed of how prices on technology keep going down and down, but this little gigabit switch is only $74! I just ordered mine to replace my replacement switch I added a while back. I might recommend the PowerConnect 2716 for my friend since thats a 16 port and he was close to max'ing his 8 as of now. The 16 port unit is $184.