Hi sdavirst. I'm also looking for a comp (laptop) for my partner, who is using the same six-year-old (and now falling to bits) laptop when we first met. Check out Lifehacker's Dealhacker page (http://lifehacker.com/5351415/gadget-and-gear-deals-of-the-day) as they have great offers – particularly if you live in the states. Alas I don't, which means many of the offers don't apply for our somewhat remote part of the globe. But I remain hopeful that I will find a deal there from a company that will ship to here. I think you will find a great bargain on the site. Good luck!
PS. @Ashraf: How long does it take before I am no longer "new around here"? LOL!
Here at dotTech either we can help you… or we will point you to others who can ;).
Try asking for advice at http://forum.notebookreview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16 or http://forum.desktopreview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16.
@Ozzie: I don't remember what I set the post count to LOL.
Also, try http://www.microcenter.com
I go thru Costco, never had any problems. Even when I got a bad PC from Dell, Costco took it back no problem. Gave me cash back too, no store credit. I don't know if they have them where you are, but they have good deals online.
I think Sams Club is similar but I'm not sure.
I do hear CostCo and Sams Club both have very, very lenient exchange/return policies. One of my friends told me they take Xboxs back after upto 3 years (although I did not believe him).
You can also check woot.com for good deals, but you'll have to check everyday.
Personally, I find Woot annoying… having to check everyday just to spend money, haha. I have to check GOTD everyday but I don't have to spend money to get their offering ;).
I tend to only check Woot during a Woot Off, and it just so happens that a Woot Off is going on as I type this.
Yeah, Costco has never let me down. Onw PC I bought was a Dell XPS and it wasn't working. If I had not gone thru Costco, I would have been put thru hell.
They even delivered it to my house since I bought a custom machine the second time round.
Can't say anything about .Woot, never went there. you can always call costco and ask them about the warranty. They have good deals too, You have to be a member or have a family member go with you who is a member.
It is so worth it to me. Saved me so many times. They didn't even need the boxes or anything. Hopefully wherever you buy they have a good return policy.
Let us know how it turns out and Merry Christmas to You I guess.
Here is Costco priced low to high. Might find some good deals. Sign up for their news letter and get the dibs on stuff cheap right away.
Kinda late to the party, but…
I've gotten good deals on recertified machines from TigerDirect http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/refurb/refurb_slc.asp?CatId=6&category=Desktop%20Computers
and their white box machines (barebones) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=333
Otherwise, I shop Newegg. http://www.newegg.com
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