I have however used both WRT54's and other devices, and a WRT54 with tomato is extremely efficient at handling QoS traffic management, remember not EVERYTHING is about cpu speeds, and as I Said, these custom firmwares pretty much started with the WRT54, and they have been optimized a lot.
personally I wouldn't use a WRT54 today, as they don't offer the speeds I need, but as I specifically mentioned in my post, if you don't need anything faster it's a rock solid device with an extremely efficient firmware that's tried and tested more than any other.
If you had all that and 2 nickels, you'd have 10 cents.
Do 54Gs die? No, not really. But I see tons of them with little weird problems (such as one that would not display the totality of a website we were creating for a client) that are remedied as soon as its replaced. They are pushing 10 years old. Routers are cheap. No reason to hold onto legacy hardware because 'it started with them!'. Else I'd be sitting with a pile of punchcards next to me.