My tablet died a few weeks ago, and rather than spend the $100 on ebay to fix it, I decided it was a good excuse to get a newer, more up to date laptop. After spending 45 minutes in Best Buy and trying to convince them to take my money yet still leaving empty handed, I ended up snagging an Acer Aspire from Altex.
Dual core AMD X2 proc, 3GB memory, ATI video card, and more hdd space than I'll need.... I forget the exact specs, and tbh, I really don't care about anything beyond the dual core and the memory. What blew my mind was that I picked it up for under $600, which is roughly half of what I paid for the Dell Infuriation 4 years ago around this same time. I can't believe how cheap hardware has gotten. But I'm not complaining.
Any rate. I've got a new dev platform that can actually run vmware without too much of a hassle, thus allowing me to parallelize between winders and linux development. The proc is also beefy enough that I don't have to reconsider building stuff on it, be it a sendmail or a MSVS project. Pretty happy with it so far.
The dark cloud looming on the horizon is that from what I've seen of other Acer users, the laptops don't last long and don't stand up well to repeated abuse (which is unfortunate because I'm pretty much the monkey from the Samonsite commercial when it comes to expensive hardware). I'm not sure how long this poor piece of silicon and plastic is going to last, but even if it only makes it for a couple of years it's done as well as the Dell.
Oh, and final bit of advice to anyone else thinking about getting an Acer laptop. The first thing you must do is find the Control Panel setting for the touchpad and disable ALL of the gesture and window scrolling stuff. You will go nuts with the mouse jumping around everywhere due to inadvertent brushing against the touchpad. Spent around 30 minutes trying to figure out why my machine was acting possessed, but once I got it straightened out it's been smoothe sailing.