I currently have 2 Ottawa Providers, TekSavvy DSL, and Rogers Cable. I just setup TekSavvy DSL, and am not fully using it yet, but my plan is to use it as a bridge ISP service when I switch from Rogers to TekSavvy Cable, which the TekSavvy rep said (when I signed up for Teksavvy DSL) will be available in Ottawa sometime this month (August 2010).
While I agree that if I had the experience you describe, I would be changing ISPs, I'm not sure that you have much other choice. My personal experience is this:
DSL is troublesome. Period. The fact is with DSL, even if you get service from ISP X in Canada, you are probably going through a Bell DSLAM, and things get screwed up between Bell and the other ISPs ALL THE TIME. I mean Bell and Sympatico don't always mesh and they are the same company (sort of).
Cable is stable. My Rogers connection has gone down--maybe 3 times (at most for 1 hour) in 6 years. Rock solid. Expensive, and traffic shaped (I want to run a VPN), and caps if you want to torrent. So I am switching to TekSavvy CABLE because of pricing, traffic shaping and no caps, but I expect the same stability and speed from the TekSavvy cable as the Rogers--simply as a result of it being an easier technology to provision and use--DHCP versus PPPOE etc.
All DSL providers Acanac, TekSavvy, Provider X, even Sympatico have the same technical problems--they all have the same types of negative reviews.
I know you didn't want to hear TekSavvy as an option, but if you are looking for an ISP in Ottawa, your choices aren't that numerous, and I think your problem is really the stability of your technology, not the ISP. I mean if your service just worked, you wouldn't be on the phone all the time... All the ISPs will have periods of tech support problems. It's summer. People are on vacation. **** happens. Not excusing them--I would insist on something from them for that grief, but what else can you do?
I reviewed Acanac recently -- I tried them just before getting my new TekSavvy DSL, and well let's just say you and I agree on Acanac.
I haven't reviewed my TekSavvy DSL yet, but I will, and when I get the TekSavvy cable I will review it too.
I have a friend that lives out west of Carp, and he is happy with his Rogers Wireless, but it's still expensive, traffic shaped and capped, and it is really his ONLY choice where he lives.
I decided to try TekSavvy DSL based on one of the negative reviews I read for them on this site. It seemed to me in the review the problems were more to do with DSL than with TekSavvy. Your problems were clearly with the TekSavvy itself, but they never would have come up if the DSL worked in the first place.
There is not much *real* choice. I'd dump DSL.