I recently bought the newer NH version of the AWUS036, seduced by 2000w transmit power plus N-speed data transfer. I've made a pseudo-scientific comparison; same 5 dBi antenna, HD install BT5R1 32 then BT5R2 64, controlling as many variables as possible.

Internet

Number of APs seen in wicd: about the same

Speed connects to router (WPA2): H much quicker

Ping router:
Code:
H     100 packets transmitted, 99 received, 1% packet loss, time 99162ms
       rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 1.240/4.726/177.438/19.295 ms

NH   100 packets transmitted, 100 received, 0% packet loss, time 99232ms
       rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 1.359/677.013/2927.134/612.316 ms, pipe 3
Download speed test:
H 286 KB/s
NH 577


Monitor mode/airodump


Airodump scan: H sees 30% more APs

Reception PWR: H much better, by an average of 10 dBm
(Note that the value for PWR is reported by the driver, therefore may not be comparable).

RXQ on fixed channel/AP: very variable. H reports itself as more sensitive (eg 24 vs 12) , but both seem to collect a similar number of packets.

Injection: both excellent.

Transmit power: Hacking the regdb/CRDA allows:

Code:
wlan1 (H)      IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:off/any  
                   Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=30 dBm   
wlan3 (NH)    IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:off/any  
                   Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=35 dBm !!
I tried to test this by DOSing my AP from a distance (PWR -85). NH reported fewer ACKs (eg H [58|62 ACKs] vs NH [18|28 ACKs]), but this is probably a function of its lower sensitivity. There seemed to be no difference in the effectiveness of the deauth.
I suspect there is no advantage in increasing transmit power at the expense of reception sensitivity.


Soft AP


Setup: no problems on either, airbase and dhcpd work.

Soft AP transfer speed (for the victim):

Driver Max kbps
Ave KB/s
Victim browsing experience
H 350 45 slightly better than dialup
NH 70 3 almost unusable
(iwlagn 700 64 slow broadband)


Other

Macchanger: no problems with either.
5GHz band: not seen by either (need AWUS051NH for this)
Virtualbox: H stable, NH flakey


Conclusion


If I could have only one, it would definitely be the AWUS036H.



P.S. If anyone has any tests they want me to run I'll do my best to oblige.
P.P.S. Anyone want to buy my NH?