All servers on the mainland here are subject to the rules and regulations of the CPC, you won't be able to have any falun gong material or tankman photos on it (and expect it to stay up.) I would suggest getting a box in Hong Kong somewhere, they aren't monitored quite like the mainland services are.
Ping times to HK are generally under 40ms from here in Guangzhou using the China Telecom's ADSL service. I don't get that great of speeds to Japan or Taiwan from here. There are some West Coast US providers that give decent speeds here as well, but ping times are well over 300ms.
The Great Firewall's IP is 126.96.36.199 , so if you see it in a traceroute, you'll know to avoid it. Despite what the western media says, it's a very primitive ip based firewall. They just have 30k or so people sitting in Beijing updating the blocked ip list constantly. Can't get to wikipedia.org, but you can get to cryptome.cn , go figure.