I'm still hoping someone can help me with this.
Here is what i'm finding so far.
If I adjust the local servers Remote Login Timeout value, either up or down (tried 1 to 500 sec.s), it seems to have no effect on this whatsoever.
If I adjust the linked server Connection Timeout value it has an effect but not enough. No matter what low end value I use (tried 1 sec.) it still takes approx. the same time to error out. If I raise it (100 sec.s) it has a major effect - adds roughly the time that I set it to, usually just under the value.
Adjusting the Query Timeout value on the linked server also seems to have no effect, though I didn't really expect any.
The times that I get are usually in the 0:21 to 0:27 second range for a single server test, with the low end values seeming to come if I immediately repeat the test after a longer one, though I'm not positive on whether the difference due to a repeated test or just random chance due to other network traffic.
No matter what I do I have not been able to get the test to timeout in under 21 sec.s, which would cause major delays if very many of our VPN links were not available. Testing an available link usually is less than 1 sec.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything!,