I will be doing my own testing but it seems two pools would be a good way to go.
So when people mention "security of the network" is it better to support the newer/smaller pools to help increase the popularity of bitcoins to give it more chance of surviving in ther future. Theres probably more to it than that but would that be a basic summarisation of what is meant buy network security?
The Bitcoin network is strong if it is distributed. Fewer points of failure that one could attack. Everyone mining for one (or few) pool hurts the distributed nature of the network. If that (those) pool should happen to go down and the miners don't have failsafes, the network computational power is decreased, which could allow someone with massive amounts of computational power to attack the network. A successful attack on the network could undermine the value of Bitcoins which would make mining pointless.
A healthy network has millions of points of failure, so it probably won't fail.
Edit: And of course, the famous >50% attack.