Russel Coker wrote about switches and cables, and thinks putting a "dumb switch" on every desk is a good solution for office networking. He's got a couple of valid points, for example that it's possible to use less cables from the patch room, no (or less) dependency on network gurus and so on.
What he doesn't talk about is that
- Power consumption goes up. Each office switch typically uses between 5W and 10W depending on how good the AC/DC-adaptor is. (example of WRT54 power consumption)
- You get many more SPOF. Okay, most switches actually works quite good, but office support will have to answer a great many calls of "Internet is down" etc.
- Configuration of a "real" switch isn't that complicated, draws less power and usually gives _many_ more possibilities than the dumb table-top switch (ie VLAN, bridging, QoS, ...)