in my opinion ajax is good and safe control and easy to use but if u want to have more graphical effect u can use nivoo slider it's free and fast. I have lot's of test with the 3 top of slider that are usual: 1.ajax ,2.nivoo ,3.wowslider the result is nivoo slider won.
Most here on the CodeProject write their own programs for everything, such as slideshows, few purchase anything for use.
You can then make it more complex by adding something to store various image file locations, such as a xml file, and rotate through the record elements.
I had some slide show code from a project I had to upgrade, in which the slideshow was the only thing that worked. Actually now that I think about it, I had to fix that as well, was poorly written. Requires JQuery 1.8.2. I don't have the CSS for it anymore.
I think this had a container called slider_Container, and 4 div tags inside it, in which in moved the div inside the container. It's written in Jquery, and will not work with an update panel on the page, because you have to edit the file below to handle the UP events when they fire.