I see patch panels all come rated as CAT5e, or CAT6 (and so on). I understand the difference between CAT5e and CAT6 cables, more stringent interference shielding, etc.
What I don't understand is why switches aren't rated as CAT5e or CAT6? Instead, they are just a Gigabit switch. They have a port, doesn't that make the port part of the connection? Shouldn't the port be rated CAT5e or CAT6 as well?
Or to reverse the question: how are patch panel ports so different from switch ports that they require a rating?
Answer (for those that don't want to read through all the comments):
Because there is quite a bit of wiring between the patch panel jack's front contacts and the termination for the cable on the back, while the switch port's jacks only have 2mm of contact at the front.