Thanks for the 1st part of the comments! :) That actually has helped. If I go with someone other than Dell, it brings up the question. What do I need? What is the standard or norm? My technical purchasing department put out a handy little brochure that has some guidelines that I can follow. Apparently at least 512 MB of RAM and 30GB or higher HD. I was definitely thinking along the lines of 40+ so that's not too shocking. Is this reasonable? Intel is THE processor to look for? Or is that just because their commercials are on TV every 10 minutes? What do we think of HP? Am I obviously picking the brains of people who hopefully know more than me rather than doing my own real research? (Yes totally)
For the record, we (being me) officially hate Sony products and despite the fact that Jakob is a Sony product, we (being me) will not purchase another Sony product. Ever. And while Jakob was a refurbishment, if you were to scroll through the archives to about March of last year and the Peeves blog to Dec/Jan of 02/03 you'll find out why I am not itching to do refurbishment again. I have had too many problems. It is probably 100% attributable to the place I purchased it from and who held my warranty - In NEW JERSEY, but it has left a sour taste in my mouth for refurbs. Right out of the gate there was a problem (not blogged about) and when V & I opened up the memory chip spot, there written in tape across the chip in my computer were the words "bad chip." And the company had good ratings with shop MSN, but apparently the good raters were all people who worked there or something.