We're only a medium sized junior school ~ 270 pupils in 8 classes.

Using HP Procurve 1800 switches site wide. We've found them to be excellent as although they are not truly layer 2 managed as they have no serial port on the front, you get all the layer 2 functionality provided through a web interface.

Therefore you can get a switch with 24x Gigabit Ports plus 2x Mini GBIC slots for ~200.

Our configuration is as follows:

Core Switch with 2gb trunks to 2x new main servers (HP ProLiant ML350 G5) and 1gb single copper to 3x older servers (Dell PowerEdges)

2gb Cat5e Copper Trunk from core switch to each of the 6 remote switches (All ProCurve 1800s)

Gigabit to all desktops.

Works a treat for us. Supports VLAN etc not that we have a need for it on a site our size. The main advantages for us are trunking and gigabit to the desktop.