You should also check whether you already have USB2 built-in (whether Desktop or Laptop) - Right-click on My Computer then Properties>Hardware>Device Manager and expand USB Serial Bus Controllers, if you then see the word enhanced anywhere at all, you have USB2 built-in.
I see what you mean. They are cheap, until you add half as much again for postage. Which although it still doesn't make it expensive, I just feel they can't weigh that much?
However, I have two Destop PC's. I installed WinXP in both, from the same disk and the installation was identical. The only difference is that the basic make up of one is a higher spec than the other. The lower spec one has USB2, but the higher spec one doesn't and I just can't get my head around the reason. Especially as the high spec one has the 'usbehci' driver. That is why I'm looking at taking this route.