The response to this article has been great! I especially liked the ideas of remote joins, openquery , remote stored procedures, and table valued functions.
Almost every DBA shop needs to connect to remote servers and the feed back you have provided will be helpful to many people.
As some of you mentioned, replication would be ideal in this situation, and I agree. At a previous position, transactional replication to reporting and web servers was used to retrieve real-time information, balance the load on our primary servers, and avoid remote connections.
I will keep your responses archived, so that future remote connection projects can be optimized thoroughly.
Bill Richards, MCSE, MCDBA (Author of the Article)
Senior Database Analyst