Uhm, what exactly do you mean by "success rate"? How much your income would deviate over time from your expected income (according to your hash rate)? Try to look up some "pool luck statistics" then.
Over even just a week's time, most pools out there would very likely already pay you quite closely to what you would expect (Shares submitted - donation/fee, if applicable).
success rate as in how often they solve a block, so yes pool luck statistics
i guess what im looking for is a single site that maybe compares multiple pools rather than bouncing from pool to pool to figure it out (yea i'm trying to be lazy haha)
the main reason im asking is that i am considering going p2pool and would like an idea of how often they are getting paid vs say slush
Luck is luck. Even if you make a comparison and choose the winner, the pool you choose could be the unlucky one for the next year!
Normally though, variance will even out over enough time. Unless you are on a very small pool having an unlucky streak in the face of extreme difficulty increases.
The only factor that should determine where you earn more is the fees you are paying to mine.
Downtime shouldn't be a problem, especially if you mine on P2Pool, there is no server to go down, so it's entirely up to your ability to keep your machines running. Even if you choose other pools, set a backup pool with something like cgminer and it will automatically switch if your pool goes down.
P2Pool is at a size where there is still some variance. People were starting to complain about the past few weeks being below average. Then today it hit 4 blocks in about 4 hours, which is way above the daily average, but this will balance out the previously unlucky days.
If variance makes you nervous pick the largest pool you are comfortable with that has the lowest fees. If you don't mind a few unlucky days in a row, pick a smaller pool that has no fees (the top 3 pools all have fees).
TL;DR Over time, you earn more if you aren't paying a fee to mine.
I get that over time it should average out. I am just a little nervous about going with a relative unknown with my first decent sized rig (trying to finish my first of 4 3gh machines) when it goes live I obviously want to feel as if it was worth it, early success can be a big part of that.
also with p2pool do you guys recommend a dedicated machine to be your pool manager for your miners? or just toss it on a miner? or what?