Bought one with the last woot-off, works nicely. I can offer that the box is going to be obviously and boldly labeled as refurbished, and it was printed that way, so you're not going to be able to pass it off as anything else if thinking of gifts/ebay.
As far as performance? It works pretty well. Across my LAN, I get around 2500-3000kbps on my wired desktop and 1700-2500 on my laptop wirelessly. With the latest software and firmware, it seemed to be able to handle widescreen and 4:3 format signals without any problems. You do have to use the slingplayer software, which isn't supported by all smart phones. It also tries to help you with opening ports in your router, if you want it to be publically accessable.
Quality across the internet seems to be pretty strong, but the bitrate is going to be dependent upon your internet connection at that point. So those of you with cable that's suffering from overdrive, or with poor signal strength for your internet service are going to have low quality across the internet, since your connection isn't solid.
Another forewarning I can offer is that there is a slight compression delay that usually runs around 5-8 seconds. So what you watch on your slingbox is just slightly behind the regular TV signals. It also warns you not to use the system with a game console, and that's the very reason why. You're seeing 5 seconds ago, and that doesn't make games easy.
I really can't complain much about the purchase. I don't use it as much as I'd hoped, but for those of you that work jobs with some freetime and have access to computers that aren't locked down as tight as possible, this might be a way to pass the time during your shift. And as someone pointed out, hotel rooms, too. I haven't looked at the compatible signals, but if you have a home media PC, the IR blaster may be able to fake a remote for that, if you've already got the reciever, which gives you full access to movies and such on your computer, if it's configured for that.