So I'm leaching my neighbor's wifi. I'm using a Linksys WAP54G in "AP Client" mode in place of a wireless adapter. This worked perfectly all up until I had roommates who knocked the AP over quite a few times. Now it randomly loses connection and will only see a few specific connections instead of the 10 or so that are usually running. I have to reset it to factory defaults for it to see the point I'm using again. Afterwards it may stay connected anytime between seconds and hours.
The cheapest adaptors for sale in my town are $35. Luckily, I found a Linksys WUSB54G USB adapter on eBay for $12. These retail for around $50. I also bought a USB cable for $2.99 off of Newegg. I'm pretty sure they sell for $8 to $20 at retail stores around here. I'm hoping this will also help with the massive packet loss problem.
So instead of $20 setup plus $35-50 a month for internet, I've spent roughly $25 one-time with shipping. The internet is great, isn't it?