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I have to agree here. In the last 5 years I have managed over 1500 Dell desktops, laptops and workstations, and it is not very common to have to chat with someone in Laos or wherever the Dell support team is these days.
To be fair, this is only for their business grade products (Optiplex, Latitude, Precision). I worked at a college helpdesk for several years and the Dell home products (see: Inspiron) are garbage. I have done a bit of side-by-side price comparison of Dell home and business machines, and for a similar spec machine you might pay 50 bucks more and get the 3 year NBD on site warranty, as opposed to the mail in 1 year warranty for home grade stuff.
Indeed, you should be fine! A single SSID across all access points is the way to go but, as the Cisco 1040 series seem to be 802.11n your choice of channels is limited.
Make sure you only use channel 1, 6 or 11 as the others overlap which can confuse clients; you are better off having two of your five arrays on identical channels than overlapping them. Just try to keep the access points with identical channels a reasonable distance apart, so that there is an obvious difference in signal strength.
I couldn't agree more on this. In the past I worked for a small college, and we were having terrible performance issues with a brand new Colubris (now HP) setup. After turning the broadcast power down on each of the APs, we still had clients jumping from AP to AP. After a lot of head scratching and bringing in a professional WLAN analysis contractor, we found that all of the APs were on channel 6. Adjusting them to a pattern to break this up cleaned up all of the issues for us.