Hardware RAID has always out performed Software RAID; but, you need to buy some new hardware for it.
look up raid controllers on
If you are really interested
the price can range from ~10$-500$ US
and I'm not sure how well the cheap one work, I've only used RAID on commercial servers
to learn about RAID go here
the only RAIDs i would bother looking at on this site are
the other RAIDs are never used
Also, I wouldnt say software RAID is really bad, if you have never used RAID before, I would try out software RAID on some sorta test machine, just to get an idea.
Here are some HOWTOS i found on The Linux Documentation Project