sell shell accounts?

I don't disagree with anything you have said. I don't think "too many hops"
is an interesting criticism of an NSPs network. All I was saying is that it is
possible, using switches, to reduce your hop count. I am not arguing the
merits of doing so. Today, regardless of how fast switches can push cells, if
your network is IP based you need to traverse routers. When the routers get
overloaded you must either install more routers or faster routers.

an average number of hops is no big deal...too many hops, and the ttls get
too high, so there are certainly instances where some level of meshing
is necessary (but meshing doesn't imply switching with ATM or Frame..)