well i agree and understand about scheduled maintenance (working on servers for medium sized restaurant groups). ?It is a necessity.
However, i am still curious to know how many players have windows vista and notice these issues durring the day (most likely not durring maintenance). ?At the internet gaming place that my boss owns we could not figure out why there was more lag on the xp machines and not on the machines that had vista. ?Later another employee found out that vista was better at adjusting the tcp/ip "window". So he manually set the xp machines to a set tcp/ip "window" size. ?This problem effects only a small amout of people. ?Remember we all have a different hardware in our computers. At the gaming place all computers were the same except those that had vista. ?If you have a slow system or an ancient vidcard, nothing can save you from lag. (except a lot of experice points in health regen)
I played hl2dm on my friends new laptop and it was so much different, it was like everything was slightly delayed.
Im not trying to argue with you, IMO you need a good card to get more enjoyment out of the game because it will get rid of any lag and choppiness. I am a decent hl2 player and i was horrible on my friends laptop because im used to the instant response of a fast gaming computer.