I second re-purposing a router to use as a client-bridge. I happen to like the Asus RT-N16 in this role.
Wireless is only as good as where you can put the antennas. You can buy cables and antennas to move them from the back of the PC, but they're a speciality item. Cat6 Ethernet is available, cheap, and good out to 100m at gigabit speeds. A converted router will also be more versatile since it will have multiple ports on the back.
I'm a fan of Intel NICs, so if you can find one, I would suggest picking it up.
For what it's worth, the first network card I ever used was a wired PCI card from 3Com that cost me $100....
What that one of the 3c905 series? 3c905b cards were the thing to have back in the day. They were solid and pretty much any operating system had a driver for it.
Silly question, but I'm assuming that just means setting up another wireless router to pick up the existing wireless signal up, right? This may be better too if it also acts as a wireless extender. It's closer to my study which is where I use my laptop, which has trouble picking up the existing wireless signal sometimes. Is there a reason this is superior? Better hardware in the router?
Some routers have the client-bridge feature, but most don't. I usually buy something that I can run Tomato firmware on to enable that feature.
That's the basic idea. The router acts like a switch with the wireless connection being the uplink to the normal router. Anything that is local stays within the switch, but anything that needs to go to the Internet, or to something not local to the bridge, get sent out the uplink.
I've had trouble with dedicated "wireless bridges" burning out and just being all around flaky, but I haven't had any trouble with the Asus's so far. The routers are built better, it seems.
It could also act as a wireless extender. It depends on the model and what you are wanting to do since the extender is going to add more latency.