The performance hit using network based INI files can be dramatic.
I updated my login script earlier this year to cache the ini file on the local system. Performance improvement was significant! On a 128Kbps Frame Relay link (our slowest), the login script took about 80 seconds to run without caching, reading about 30 INI settings. This was reduced to about 12 seconds by caching when the cached file is current, or 15 seconds when it wasn't.
If I only need to read/write a few settings, I do it over the network, but any more than 5 values and I find another way, including caching (for read-only files) or a central service (for read/write).
a Rocket Scientist!