At lot will depend on who your first mile provider is, and how well they service your local area.
If you currently have RoadRunner or Comcast Cable internet and your service currently sucks, then Earthlink probably won't be much better.
However if RR or CC runs great, you get great speeds and latency then Earthlink will run just the same. Just at a better price
Edit to add:
I just read the part you a VZ DSL customer. Well ask your neighbors, that MAY be a good guage.