I've got a couple of days of actual results now, so maybe people want to get some early feedback on my attempt to get a virtual wireless network that looks like a single AP to clients, while having multiple APs to get better coverage.
So the reason I'm doing this is that we have this kind of rambling house, with my office above the garage, and just having a single AP has never worked very well for it. I've tried several different setups with multiple AP's, but they just haven't worked all that wonderfully. I ended up having reasonable behavior with having identical APs, but I still find that clients connect to the wrong one, and other clients get confused by having the same SSID with multiple APs and just connect to the first one they see.
And I appreciate the comments from people, but when looking at prices and availability, it was really a no-brainer. The Ubiquiti single-band UAP runs at about $60 a pop, so you can buy a three-pack off Amazon for $180. The other "commercial grade" APs that do this seem to be in the $800 range. For a single AP.
So with that no-brainer, I now have a UniFi zero-handoff network at home. And as people told me, you really don't need to run the Java controller thing except for setup. Which isn't that big of a deal.
It all seems to work fairly well, except for the fact that the UniFi APs are apparently quite picky at authentication time, and really don't like clients that optimistically connect using authentication packets at high data rates. Which the Linux 802.11 layer does by default.
So I'm blaming the UniFi AP for being fairly fragile at connection time. Tssk, tssk.
I have a patch to make Linux just connect at slower rates, and that makes it work well. That patch is almost certainly a good idea in general, and some drivers (like the intel iwlwifi one) already did it on their own because apparently driver writers had found other picky APs.
So I hope/expect it will be merged by the networking people soonish, but it is a black mark against the UniFi AP.
That said, $60 vs $800? Yeah, I think I can live with it.