I priced out a new Dell Latitude D550, and was pleasantly surprised by the price (less than the one that just croaked). I didn’t go for the fastest processor, but I did put in some bells and whistles. To-wit: a larger main battery for about 50% more run time, a speedier hard disk (7200 RPM vs. 5400 RPM), and faster main memory (and a lot of it, though not nearly the two gigabytes Dell recommends for people planning on running Vista).
Hopefully the new laptop will arrive before I leave for India. If not, I’ll have something to distract me once I get back. Though, as I observed to matociquala, a new laptop, no mater how sexy, is not an adequate replacement for my sweetie.