I got my Sputnik. It rocks. It rocks in many ways. It rocks because it uses Jabber to talk to the Central Server (The Central Server is a machine on your network that manages the access points. If you don't want to set up your own Central Server, you can use the community server. You log into the Central Server to access the AP you're using. Similar to the web page that pops up when you first log into WiFi networks in Hotel, except this one is yours.). It rocks because the Central Server controls and manages access and security for all of the access points across the network (even WAN). It rocks because Sifry is giving me real time tech support via... Jabber. (It's amazing that Sifry could build Sputnik AND Technorati at the same time. He was giving me tech support for both at the same time...) It rocks because it's secure. It rocks because it lets me do port forwarding, firewalls and peering for only $185. Anyway, I'm supposed to get my second AP and my own Central Server soon. If it all works out, I'm going to buy a bunch of AP's and try setting up my own little network of Sputnik nodes.
Disclaimer: This is a totally un-scientific review of a product by a friend ;-). I have only tried a few AP's and don't have much empirical evidence to support my notion that Sputniks "rock". I've used MELCO, Linksys and Apple AirPorts. I do think the central server and the Jabber thing are quite unique and seem to be good ideas. We'll see how I feel after I finish building out a network of Spuniks.