said by GlennH:
in let's say 25 words or less, what are the advantages to someone with a straightforward setup like mine in flashing the router with either DD-WRT or Tomato?
I'll give it to you in ten : Control, Functionality, Flexibility. Beyond what runs in stock vendor firmware.
No specifc recommendations for switches -- it really comes down to the level of functionalty and control you want.
The two key areas I'd look for are the aforementioned jumbo frames (max is 9K size frames, but there's no "official"
definition of jumbo, so read the datasheets
), and warranty period. Everything on top is gravy.