So I bought a laptop today from dell.com.
They were having a two-day deal--a free upgraded video card on their Vostros. The exact model I wanted, but $75 cheaper due to the free upgrade.
I also decided to splurge and go for a much faster processor...I upgraded from 1.4 GHz to 2.0 GHz ($175 is a lot of money, and I'm not sure if I made the right decision, but I'll cross my fingers and hope I did). And of course this brand new laptop includes XP instead of Vista (I talked to half-a-dozen people, and Brent was the only one who didn't have issues with Vista, so I feel I made a good choice there).
It's a bit on the larger size (15 in. screen, etc.) but then again, so am I.
It'll be a couple of weeks before it arrives, but I'm already very much excited.
Cost: under $700 (before taxes).