WiFi only on Banana *Pro*
The original Banana Pi has gigabit Ethernet but no 802.11 on board. The Pro has both, along with an extended R-Pi "compatible" 40 pi GPIO connector. There's also an BPi-R1 router board with a four port switch and space for a 2.5" HD on board.
GbE tops out around 600mbps in tests here which, although isn't quite as fast as desktop adapters, is still a substantial improvement on 100baseTX. Downside is a dynamic MAC address on the Ethernet, so if you're doing DHCP with static leases you'll need to hardcode a MAC somewhere, either in the fex/script.bin or the OS itself.
If you don't want the snot green desktop, give Bananian a go. It doesn't make assumptions, just gives you a nice, almost pure Debian install to build upon. Repos are pure Debian armhf, no funny business. Accelerated 2D/GL-ES/video is a bit of a ballache but is doable if you follow the instructions on the sunxi-linux wiki.
Oh, and as for "against the ethos of the R-Pi" perhaps it is, but you still get dual core ARMv7 with NEON, 1GB of RAM (minus graphics and stream decode) and SATA on *less* power than the original R-Pi B. The B+ has a switching regulator setup rather than the linear setup of the original B, so it a little more frugal and beats the Banana, but it's still only single core 512MB.
Posted, unsurprisingly, from a Banana Pi :-)