so Renegade, exactly what model are you using?
I have 3 primary mice:
Home Primary Box: Logitech Optical Wheel (it's ok, but I'd rather have a ball mouse)
Home Dev. Box: Microsoft Optical Wheel (Don't like it at all)
Office Mouse (on 2 boxes through 2 KVMs for dual monitor support --- PAIN!): Microsoft Ball Mouse --- LOVE IT! It works perfectly.
I would have all ball mice, but I simply have a hard time finding them. They're extremely rare now here. The only option is optical mice... And since I only have the one good ball mouse, I took it to the office as I spend the entire day with it there. I'd go nuts with optical skips, and everyone else would go nuts with the increased amount of profanity --- I curse enough as it is when things go wrong.
I really really really hate mouse pads, and refuse to use them. They just make life harder as you are always running off the side of it. They're just not comfortable to use. Ball mice handle any surface, but optical mice are sketchy. (Yeah - part of the problem is me...)
But no matter what, I find optical mice will "jump" occassionally. This I find completely unacceptable behaviour. It has caused data loss for me before, and we all know just how serious that can be. "Want to save or discard your changes?" "Oh, I think I'd like to SAVE them as I just spent a lot of time on it." Pointer suddenly jumps to "Discard"... Click. "Ooops..." [Crying heard in the background...]