Once upon a time, these access points cost $600. Today, they can be had on ebay for under $50, and they’re pretty good. I’d rank them around as good as a hacked WRT-54L, though they have distinctly different capabilities. The WRT is more flexible overall, and has a built-in router. The Aironet 1200 series has PoE, what seems like a better signal, better support for multiple SSIDs, VLANs, SNMP, can accept a wireless backhaul network, and generally more “enterprisey” features. The LEDs are actually informative. They make good “add-ons” for a LAN.
They’re also built like tanks.
(For admins and geeks, the best part is that they run IOS, so you can use this cheap device to learn IOS and WiFi.)
This sub site aggregates some notes for using these devices, including some recipes for using it in different modes.