When I had a 360, I also had trouble getting it to work online. Then I called support and found out all I needed to do was manually enter the physical address on the 360, but that's not something you can change on a PS3.
It seems like connecting to PSN without a router isn't very common. Does the quality of a router affect your ping? If I was to get a ps3 and a router to go online, I'd want a cheap one that does just what I want it to do without lots of extra unneeded features for more $$$.
Also, are there ISP's in the US that are better suited for gaming? I wouldn't mind getting DSL from another ISP besides Verizon if it'd help at all. It'd be really nice to change to an ISP that won't require me to buy a router for PSN.
Gettin a PS3 to work online is starting to seem like a big hassle, but some of the main things that attract me are LBC and Resistance 2's 60+ players online.