bnordberg I think you must have some serious config issues if you are finding a myisam table's performance to be worse than access.
Some of these posts really get to the crux of the issue in any MSSQL vs MYSQL debate. With SQL server pretty much what you see is what you get. MySQL is infinitely configurable, which can be difficult at first, but is incredibly rewarding once you get past the first few gotchas. Hell, you can even add your own functions and recompile if you so wish.
In fact, MySQL is the first thing I ever built from source, a painful experience to begin with. Now, I am an ecstatic linux hacker and would never go back to black boxes and closed source. It all comes down to budget levels, comfort zones and what you need it for. As I said above, I used MySQL initially as it had a feature that SQL server didnt' have until 2008, namely spatial extensions and R-tree indexes.