I travel extensively and my new standard question when booking a hotel is "do you have free high-speed internet". The trend these days is shifting towards offering free wireless net access in hotel rooms. But not every hotel has quiet gotten the clue yet.
When I’m at a hotel that has wired (ethernet) internet in the room, I use one of Apple’s Airport Express to turn that into an in room wireless network. Also, then I’m at home, my Airport Express extends my in-home WiFi network so I have a strong signal in the living room and streams music to my living room stereo.

When the hotel only has dial up, then I’ll try to find a nearby free WiFi hotspot by checking Jiwire or HotPepper.