Dude, I got another Dell
Ever since it arrived a month ago, I've been incredibly pleased with my new Dell desktop, and especially the gorgeous 22" widescreen LCD panel I ordered with it. Then it came time to buy a laptop, and I asked a friend what he thought of certain Toshibas and Acers advertised at brick-and-mortar stores. He's the same friend who had pointed me toward Dell in the first place, and he recommended Dell again. I didn't know that their prices are comparable, and that their Vostro line is a terrific value: designed for small business, but still great for personal use if you don't need fancy paint jobs, or preinstalled software beyond Windows and drivers. For productivity applications, most people will do fine with OpenOffice, the free alternative to MS Office.
My desktop order was delayed a week because Dell was having LCD supply problems, but with the back-to-school rush now over, my laptop order didn't have the same trouble. It was initially calculated to ship 14 days after I placed the order, shipped out after 15 days, and arrived after 17. That included an extra week for the "TruLife" screen option -- a stunning display well worth waiting longer for, and at the time I ordered, no additional charge over the regular XGA. Overall, it's a beautiful machine, and in fact a gift for someone. Once I get everything tweaked and finish installing software, oh yeah, she'll love it.
I was initially very displeased with Dell, after getting notified of a second production delay and wondering if I'd wait weeks like some people said. But, I admittedly tend to be more demanding than most people, and Dell's customer service placated me by being spectacular every time. Because my desktop order suffered delays, they upgraded me to overnight shipping at no extra charge -- which that rep apparently forgot to do, but another call fixed that right away. I've talked to their call centers in the Philippines and India, and there was a little language barrier sometimes, but ultimately they were all as helpful as any Americans I've ever talked to.
Credit where credit is due, and I'd totally recommend Dell for the buying experience.