I bought a Linksys WAP54G yesterday to
see whether my 871w is faulty. (Constant signal drops).
While I was testing, I noticed that WAP54G has a better signal strength than the 871w. What's interesting is, Linksys WAP54G only has a max power output of 15.5dbm, while the Cisco 871w has the max output of 17 dbm.
I used the netstumbler to measure the signal strength. Linksys WAP54G can constantly stay at -60dbm, while the Cisco 871w (with the max power configured) goes up and down (between -70 and -60 dbm).
They are both configured to use the same channel. I find this strange as to why a higher power output has a much lower efficiency compare to a lower power output.