Asus. I've had a rock solid WL-500Gp and 2 WL-520gU's. They're running DD-WRT, but the stock firmware would probably be ok since the hardware's been excellent. I'm considering the RT-N66U next which is a little pricey but ranks well on SmallNetBuilder throughput charts and supports a custom firmware build that uses the native optimized drivers (or DD-WRT/OpenWRT, etc.).
Also, any Linksys router with an external antenna has been OK, but those are rare now. Netgear and D-Link have been hit or miss for me.
//edit: A couple folks have said Apple Airport. +1 from me as well; I've used one without any incident for a couple years connecting primarily Windows/Android machines.
I know next to nothing about networking hardware, so fuck me, but...
I always had to power-cycle my routers, no matter the brand, for years. Some once a week, one every other day. Then I bought a Time Capsule from Apple. It seemed kinda pricey, but I wanted the convenience of the backups.
This was in 2008. Five years later, that thing still works perfectly. Never had to power cycle it. Entirely reliable. So Apple will keep getting my money for consumer networking gear.
It's good that you haven't had any problem with your Time Capsule, especially overheating. Due to poor engineering and industrial design, there are a lot of people that have had issues with that and had to physically modify the case .
In general Apple has a solid history of various problems (I'd speculate mostly due to design decisions taking over engineering concerns) with their hardware - "antennagate", Mac Mini overheating, dust inside DVD drive slots, Time Capsule and Apple TV overheating .
I guess there are more, but these are the problems people around me have actually stumbled upon.
Not exactly what I would call a manufacturer of durable hardware.
I had a terrible Zyxel router was really unreliable. Replaced it with a Billion 7404VNPX and haven't looked back. They're aimed more at home/small office than just being consumer, so they have better configuration, ipv6, etc. (but are a little ugly, but who cares?). Still pretty cheap.
I use a home-built router and a TP-link WiFi access point, works great! Building your own router is as simple as having a Linux box with two ethernet plugs and installing a DHCP server, and some iptables tweaking for NAT.
That depends. There has been low-power CPUs along the history, if you manage to find a box with one of those then I wouldn't be surprised if you get way below 50W. Of course that probably is still significantly more than what an embedded solution would consume, but on the other hand you should get better performance and more flexibility. You could use the same box for eg NAS.
 Intel ARK finds 108 =<35W desktop CPUs, from the original Pentiums to modern day i5 Ivy Bridges.
Linux runs on Linksys routers (dd-wrt, for example), so Linux != lots of power :) There are some cool boards you can get pretty cheap with 10/100 ethernet, which is probably all you need for an internet conneciton (I have 60 up/down at home so it's enough for me).
Buffalo makes decent hardware (don't count on the software though), so does TP-link. But in any case the OEM firmware is most probably horrible, so most important factor imho is OpenWRT (or some other distro) support.
My Netgear WNR3500L has been nothing but rock solid since I bought it. The router is advertised to be compatible with Tomato, DD-WRT, and Open-WRT. I think I have had to reboot the router a grand total of one time, and it was completely my fault.