I'm casual miner and it's nearing 1 year since mining.
I've been doing about 1 GH/s, nothing impressive, but I've been on Deepbit the whole time simply because it's big. I went to Bitcoinwatch the other day and it seems like BTCGuild is catching up in hash rate. I did a little research and Deepbit is 10% fee versus 5% fee at BTC Guild. Isn't this a no brainer to switch? And of course I've heard of smaller pools like MtRed which are also PPS and 0% fee? Why do so many people stick to DeepBit if this is the question?
Why? Because it's easy and it's appealing? Seriously, if you look around, people left and right are saying get off of DeepBit.
I was on BTC Guild before they started changing a fee. Just today I switched off to p2pool for a number of reasons:
1 - no 5% fee
2 - the transaction fees aren't absorbed by the pool owner (miners get them now)
3 - it's peer to peer, so no DOS like btcguild tends to get
4 - it's exciting to watch
At the same time if I don't get much out of switching, I'm too lazy to since it would require digging up a monitor and keyboard to hook to my dummy miners.
My 1.8gh rig is headless. I use tightvnc to remote to it.
Finally, what about merged mining? I see this on BTC Guild, and does it offer any benefits? To me I just see it as killing 2 birds with 1 stone, but can someone explain more detailed?
With merged mining you can get namecoins with no decrease in hash rate on bitcoins. What's a namecoin? From my experience, an almost worthless item. Unless you have 100+ gh, I'd estimate, the returns on namecoins are dismall.