Summary: The board worked fine for a few hours, then the LAN controller failed. I called Intel tech support, and after troubleshooting, they confirmed that the board was defective. The support tech was very helpful and offered to replace the board for $25. Instead, I returned it to Amazon, who exchanged it at no charge. Another good reason to shop with Amazon. I should add that the LAN controller stopped working after I updated the bios to version 106 dated 27 December 2012.
Summary: I'm far from an expert, but I've always used Intel motherboards when building computers (3-4 over the years), and this one was easy to use. This one is well-marked and easy to connect up with various devices.