Why are PeeCee Unix routers doomed?

It's fun to use PeeCee's running Linux or BSD as routers. I did it for many years, and still do it for specific things. It can save a lot of money on the low end---router/firewall vendors tend to cripple their devices and then gouge you for basic feature sets and tiny capacity increases. With PeeCee's, a flat $1500 buys everyone mid-range capacity, provided you have time to get the features you need working properly, which you probably don't.

This list is somewhat redundant to the L3 switch comparison table.

All that said, PeeCee's are still much cheaper, so eBay is the real reason why I am changing to L3 switches at this moment. Here are the pieces of my Extreme Alpine 3808 and their costs, including shipping:

item cost
Alpine 3808
includes 4 gigabit MTRJ and 4 1000BaseT and 64 100Mbit/s.
4 1000BaseX GBIC slots
GM-4Xi x 2
4 1000BaseX GBIC slots each
4 1000BaseT
GBIC x2 $43.40
GBIC x6 $18.00
GBIC x1 $12.98
Total $891.34

Total ports:

1000BaseSX 16
1000BaseT 8
100BaseTX 64

L3 switches / map / carton's page / Miles Nordin <carton@Ivy.NET>
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