Not to be rude but, I've used many Linksys SOHO Router's and I tend to find them better than any other brand I've worked with and I've worked with most of the major players in the SOHO Router game over the last 10 years. Either you got a bad one which, is distinctly possible, or you lack knowledge and experience in using them. But saying their garbage because you had issues is a wrong. You haven't used enough different ones to actually offer anything but your opinion.....and we all know what opinions are like.
I'm using some WRT54GL's for wireless access points here at work in one of our buildings and I've been doing so for a couple years now with great success. In fact, I've been replacing the D-Links I started out using because the majority of the D-Links have died quite quickly and they can be very finicky.
First, read the manual. It could be you're trying to connect to the wrong LAN IP address if the unit is still set to it's factory default. I've seen both 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.0.1 used by Linksys.
Second, if you've changed the LAN IP to something else and forgotten and are trying to connect to the default then it won't work then either.
Connect to the router with a DHCP enabled client and allow the router's DHCP server to assign TCP/IP settings and then open a command prompt window (ie: Start >> Run >> type cmd and hit Enter) and perform the following command:
The default gateway address as shown by the ipconfig command will be the LAN IP of your router. That is the IP you need to enter in your web browser to connect to the router's management interface.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.