The new notebook came in yesterday (Preston's is still held up in production), and I will say that I'm pleasantly surprised. As many of you know, we have purchased several Dell computers (both notebooks and desktops) over the years (mostly owing to Preston's enrollment in the University of Phoenix, he gets a promo discount as a student there), and we haven't had much luck. The computer literally took minutes to completely set up (the hardest part was getting it out of the box!), and Vista doesn't seem all that bad (I know, says Johnny come lately, after they work the bugs out, huh?), its certainly easy to navigate. The screen doesn't catch too much glare, even in my bright family room, and the base has been doing a good job of keeping itself cool (we did buy a cool pad for it, however--since I'll be working on it full-time), issues we had with previous computers straightaway. Oh, and there didn't seem to be as much in the way of "crap software" to delete. A lot of "Netzero" and "Earthlink" downloads, but they were easy enough to uninstall. I love the microsatin finish, and the brown is pretty enough. I've heard a lot of negativity about the touchpad, which is adjustable, by the way, and I don't seem to have any issues with it after a few initial flubs. Maybe I'm just used to Dell's touchpads?
I will say, though, that the latch system is certainly cheesy, and the notebook itself is a bit heavy (we opted for the 17" screen, so I suppose that's expected?), but since I plan on using it as an at-home work computer, that shouldn't be an issue.
All in all, especially taking into account the deal that we got on this thing... I'm pretty happy.