I used to be a big IBM PC fan. I got my first IBM 8080 PC with 256k RAM, dual 5.25" floppy drives (I ultimately swapped one out for a 20 MB Seagate Hard Drive) with Microsoft DOS 2.1 in those huge, impossible to understand 5-pound IBM manuals.
I have purchased 8 IBM personal computers or laptops since that first IBM 8080 PC. IBM's recent decision to sell its money-losing PC division to the Chinese company Lenovo Group Ltd. for $1.75 billion (along with its popular Thinkpad notebooks) sealed the deal for me in not buying another IBM.
Dell has been building better and better computers and now finally laptops. I purchased a refurbished Dell XPS computer with Windows Media Center XP operating system and a refurbished 26" LCD TV monitor.
I spent about 3 hours total on the phone with Paul from Dell tech support in Nashville. The Windows Media Center software (it may be faulty hardware) is not operating properly. It will not run a DVD, though the Dell DVD software would -- well, up until I reformatted everything and started over. Paul was very helpful and took ownership of the issue. He assigned a tech to come out and replace motherboard, graphics card (ATI X800 256 MB), 2 GB RAM and CPU. Hopefully one of the 4 above will cure the problem.
While I hate the problem with a new computer, I was impressed with Dell's attempt so far to make me happy and solve the problem. Rather than trying one part to replace at a time, Paul is having the whole system rebuilt practically with new parts at my house. I will let you know how it goes after the tech leaves.