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When employing a consensus algorithm for state machine replication, should one optimize for the case that all communication links are usually timely or for fewer timely links? Does optimizing a protocol for better message complexity hamper the time complexity? In this paper, we investigate these types of questions using mathematical analysis as well as experiments over PlanetLab (WAN) and a LAN. We present a new and efficient leader-based consensus protocol that has O(n) stable-state message complexity (in a system with n processes) and requires only O(n) links to be timely at stable times. We compare this protocol with several previously suggested protocols. Our results show that a protocol that requires fewer timely links can achieve better performance, even if it sends fewer messages.