I would say: It’s almost impossible to brick this device.
A word of advice:
After tftp the firmware, wait 5 minutes instead of 1 minute. Then
wait 10 sec,
plug in power,
wait 20 sec.
You should be able to go to 192.168.1.1
If not working try different browser. Once everything is working,
unplug power again,
hold down wps button while plugging in power.
keep holding for 30 sec.
That will reset the nvram.
Last 5 to 6 years I have been using DD-WRT and didn’t even try Tomato. But from now on, Tomato it is.
Tomato = all feature of DD-WRT + all factory firmware feature + extra stuff.
Just give it a try.
debwrt: Full debian on the rt-n16 http://dev.debwrt.net/wiki/AsusRT-N16
My word of advice: just get a cheap gigabit switch if you want to save money and just need home networking.
Max speed I got from usd storage = 10MBps (with tomato), 8MBps (with dd-wrt), 2.5MBps (with asus firmware). Talking about read and write average here.
On other hand:
Wireless N doesn’t seem work great with combination of wireless G devices. So, at the end 300Mbps goes down to 54Mbps.