One other question that I should probably know the answer to, concerns the router used with the switch. If I get a gigabit switch and couple that with a 10/100 wireless n router, that will still allow gigabit LAN speeds, correct? Provided I run the up-link right out of the router and don't use any of it's ports.
yes....the traffic will only move at the fastest speed allowed by the transmission media/device that the traffic is actually going through. so if you had a 10 mbps connection on the inside of the router, all your traffic would be limited to that speed when the traffic is destined to pass through the router, but if you had 3gbps fiber links on the lan you'd still have that speed for lan communications.
the same applies on the outside of the router (wan side) i doubt you've got a gigabit connection to the internet, but you can still maintain gigabit lan speeds because the interface you're traveling through on the lan is gigabit capable.a good read on cut-through vs store and forward switching
. the basic difference is that a cut-through makes it's forwarding decision much sooner than a store and forward does.
store and forward is used mostly in locations where a lot of "wire congestion" could be an issue. this is the case because store and forward receives the entire packet and can make a real time decision as to the validity of the packet and choose to drop or forward the packet if it's malformed or in some other way incorrect.
cut-through is used in locations where this congestion isn't an issue. a cut-through process only examines enough of the packet to know where it came from and where it's going, then it sends it on it's way. it doesn't care if it's malformed (as far as the data portion of the packet is concerned) or incorrect. this model lets the end device drop malformed packets. cut-through will drop packets that have incorrect addressing headers and malformed portions of the packet that relate to addressing.
when i mention congestion above, we're talking about milliseconds of latency which can be an issue when you're transmitting MASSIVE amounts of data back and forth on the lan, or when you're transmitting latency sensitive data at a high rate
in a home scenario you're not going to notice the difference between either technology