Well, I experienced my first loss of Internet because of a dead router tonight. My son alerted me to the fact that the Internet was not working. A quick check of the cable modem should all green lights lit up but no PC or activity lights on. I checked the router and all lights were off. I plugged it into a different outlet, but nobody was home. It was 4 to 5 years old, so I did not think that was a bad run.
Luckily, I had a Dlink DIR-615 laying around. I had used it at an office, but had too much trouble with the wireless connections dropping so I ended up running cables (or, in this case, paying someone to do it). Fortunately I had already configured it as a backup so all I had to do was plug it in and do some minor configuring. I went ahead and checked for a firmware update, found one, and prepared to install it. Dlink was nice enough to suggest backing up my configuration in case the update reset the router, so I did this. The firmware update did reset the router settings, so I restored my backup file (thanks Dlink) and I was ready to go. All in all I probably spent no more than 10 minutes or so on this. It sure does pay to be prepared.