Good question. Geocoding is often a bit difficult to integrate, at least from my experience... it'd be nice if you could just plug it in and have it work right away (without having to consign oneself to an integrated map service, like Mapquest, etc).
I work at SmartyStreets where we perform address validation and geocoding. Our service, US Street Address API geocodes addresses, but because it's CASS-Certified it also verifies that the addresses are correct and valid and will standardize them if they are not (something that Google/Mapquest do not do).
If you care about speed and reliability, it's good to know that the US Street Address API is geo-distributed, with guaranteed uptime.
It's free to sign up and start using indefinitely, so if you need a quick-fix, that might do it for you. If you have any other address/geocoding-related questions, I'll be happy to help.