After my last road trip, when I trialled a Vodem stick, I decided that I'd finally had enough of Vodafone's lack of solid 3G coverage. So I bought a PC Express card off TradeMe, and got it connected this afternoon.
My first test was at home in Auckland, and I got download speeds of 2.9 Mb/s, both to a local server and to LA. And the latency is very low - 180 ms to LA. Plus the speed is constant, unlike Vodafone which was all over the place.
It will be interesting to see how it goes on the road, but surely it can't be worse than GPRS!
BTW, the speeds and latency to LA are better than I get in the evenings on the Orcon+ network!