The DSL fix has come at the cost of about 2/3s of my speed, though, and it's not a complete fix; it's just that when it thrashes it mostly comes back right away, and hasn't been down for more than an hour straight. Unlike the periodic "I'm going away for 20 hours" it was doing before. So I still need to get a real fix, but it's the first progress in a long quest. And I must say, bash Earthlink as I might in other situations, they've been quite responsive on this. New network access point, ran a new line inside the house so that the phone didn't have to share the same wall box, replaced the card at the local office, sent a new modem (same model, though, which was unfortunate since I suspect part of the problem is our crappy power and I wanted to try one that might have better capacitators).
Of course, my DSL is Covad/Earthlink, so I don't know how much longer it will exist, given the FCC's cheerful 'charge whatever you want for line access' ruling. And there's no digital cable here yet, so I won't even have a choice between which monopoly I want. Whee!