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The symptoms depend upon which part of the resistor pack is bad. Sounds like you have a break in one of the coils, and sometimes that vibrates into place so it works for a bit.
Your alternative is to use speeds 1-3 until something else breaks. By the way, the slower the blower speed, the colder the air will be (longer residence time to exchange heat in the evaporator). I'm in the Arizona desert, and typically use blower speeds 2 and 3 on my 1998 and 2004 Frontiers.
'98 2WD, 4-cylinder, 5-speed, white regular cab, purchased in 2004 with 100K on it for the kids to drive, now it's back with us, 214K. 2004 King Cab 2WD, 4-cylinder, 5-speed, electric blue purchased in Dec. 2011 at 89K. Also 1988 Mazda B2200 Cab Plus truck (since 1994, 212K), 2WD, 4-cylinder, 5-speed, great truck. And 1971 VW Convertible (mine since 1976) and 1970 VW (mine since 1972).