This paper argues that a new class of geographically distributed network services is emerging, and that the most effective way to design, evaluate, and deploy these services is by using an overlay-based testbed. Unlike conventional network testbeds, however, we advocate an approach that supports both researchers that want to develop new services, and clients that want to use them. This dual use, in turn, suggests four design principles that are not widely supported in existing testbeds: services should be able to run continuously and access a slice of the overlay's resources, control over resources should be distributed, overlay management services should be unbundled and run in their own slices, and APIs should be designed to promote application development. We believe a testbed that supports these design principles will facilitate the emergence of a new <i>service-oriented network architecture</i>. Towards this end, the paper also briefly describes PlanetLab, an overlay network being designed with these four principles in mind.