Well, for myself, I've been using the 18.104.22.168 kernel perfectly for about a year. It is a bit outdated now sure, but I've been might pleased with it. I have an older P4 machine with 1GB RAM and a Gigabyte GA8-TRS350MT motherboard with a VIA chipset. I custom compiled a low-latency 22.214.171.124 kernel for that, and for the first time I could get DMA going in Linux, plus have a low latency kernel.
Why not just try the latest stable kernel? 2.6.19.something I think. Take a look at kernel.org