Agreed that it works - just about. And also agreed that it's just not worth it these days when you can pick up switches / routers for so cheaply if not free!
Back in the days when any form of hub cost upwards of £100, even for the small, slow ones, I could fully understand it. But that was also in the days when having one computer was a luxury, let alone 2 or more! Every so often I needed to transfer large files back and forth between a couple of PCs and then my trusty long yellow crossover cable came out of it's cupboard. But it hasn't come out for a good few years now...!
In short, I'd say just get a cheap home router and be done with it