Okay so I've owned minecraft since early alpha, and I've never once been able to play SMP. I can join servers just fine, but once I'm into the server it'll load maybe 4 chunks around the spawn and then stop working. My network monitor verifies that it is just not downloading any kind of data whatsoever, and I also experience crippling lag - warping around everywhere etc.
Here's the thing; I have an 8Mb connection (ports forwarded, firewall set up to allow the executable and Java to communicate) and I can't even play on the network by myself. My friend who lives 15 minutes away has a 2Mb connection, and has supported 3 of us playing on his remote server from his connection at once.
Anyone else ever encountered this problem? I'd love to get this fixed because SMP is a load better than playing single player all the time.