I have always used a "dumb" (unmanaged) switch as the entry point and distribution to my LAN network. ISP's copper goes into the switch and about six or 8 other connections come out of the switch to various devices ("main" firewall, a few other firewalls/routers protecting different networks, a "public" wireless network, etc.)
Whenever I see a network schema for a network similar to mine, it typically shows a router at the edge of the network as opposed to a switch like I'm using. Is a switch poor form? Why would I need a router? Are there any other alternatives to distributing my WAN connection?