Cat5e cable fine at gigabit as it is 1/3 the price but care is needed when laying and terminating.
I am using a Netgear 108-T 8 port gigabit switch located in the center of the house.
A 48 port Cat5e patch panel allows me to patch to various (18 so far) Cat5e cables (5 - 25m in length) around the house.
Using the network diagnostics tools supplied with either the Intel or Broadcom drivers, I have verified I am getting excellent connectivity. Using the diagnostics cable length 'measurement', I get the correct length.
Cat5e Installation tips:
1. When laying the cables, ensure they never get 'kinked'. A single bend less than 50mm diameter may be enough to make the cable useless for gigabit speeds. Cut it either side of the kink and use the bits somewhere else.
2. Never pull the cable 'hard', it will damage the cable. Prepare cable runs before you lay the cable. I found plastic downpipes cut in half allowed the cables to slide easily.
3. Use solid core cable for all fixed wiring.
4. Take care making the Cat5e RJ45 socket terminations correctly. Ideally the bared pairs should be as short as possible and keep the same 'pair twist' ratio as the orignal cable.
5. You may find making RJ45 socket ternimations easier if you buy Cat6 sockets. They are normally better designed. The ones I used were easier to terminate and probably gave better performance.
6. The NZ telecom wiring guidelines recommend 568B as it ties in with the phone wiring colours. I understand other countries recommend 568A. Either way, use the same throughout and label the main patch panel with your choice.