Amid the iPhone frenzy, Apple quietly released an all-new Airport base station device today. Selling at $179, it supports the new 802.11n standard (as well as backwards compatibility for versions a, b and g).
There are three Ethernet ports, one USB, and “multiple antennas” for better reception (I put that in quotes because I’m just not sure how many antennae the old base station unit had…). According to the tech specs page, it comes with software called “802.11n Enabler for Mac” - so that’ll be the thing that wakes up the sleeping 802.11n compatibility in recently-purchased machines.
The device is, as you’d expect, being touted as “perfect for use with Apple TV” and can also act as a hub for network-shared drives and printers, something that’ll be easier with the addition of a USB hub. I suspect this might be pushed as the ideal hardware solution for backups via Time Machine, once Leopard is released.