Yep, as soon as these are announced, a lot of people go buy them and wait for the price drop, then bring them in for a price match. Or if they lock them up in the back until the sale, theres a line out the front door an hour before opening.
I havent put my hands on a compaq recently, but they were pretty much relegated to HP's low end product line some time ago and the build quality wasnt always that great nor the components too super. For $399 it's a nice deal though.
Al got a better processor, better video, more memory, and probably a bit better screen and customer support.
Not surprising, theres a big backlash on vista. Dell plans to continue offering XP for at least a while longer and IBM just rolled out a whole new thinkpad series which only comes with XP unless you specifically call and ask for vista to be installed.
With the very latest patches (like as of 2 weeks ago) my vista installs annoyance factor has barely dipped below the "throw it out and install XP" threshold. I finally got vista versions of most of the s/w I had, the drivers for the h/w on my laptop seem to have matured enough...but its slow compared to XP.
I understand that the new XP service pack 3 tweaks and tunes produce some benchmark results that are 30% faster than vista in the same hardware.
For anyone who just cant stand it and wants to take the leap, I'd strongly recommend a dual processor machine with 2GB of ram and a 7200rpm disk drive. It'll run on a single cpu/1gb/5400rpm machine, but its really a slog.
About the only really nice thing about Vista I've found is the pop up you get when anything tries to perform a system function, install or remove software, etc. All that now requires permission. I was completely unimpressed with the Aeroglass feature and its huge performance demands and ended up turning it off.
This might be a good one to skip. The next version of windows, based on this same kernel/architecture, has all the stuff in it that vista was supposed to have but ended up getting peeled out to get the product out the door.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.