I am frequently part of a Nagios on-call rotation. I brought a netbook with me nearly everywhere I went to respond to outages. I use them because they are light and I don't have to worry about the cost of them if they get stolen or ruined in a bike crash. I've been through 3 of them so far.
Dell's keyboard was absolutely awful for syntax-heavy shell operations. I write a dizzying sequence of regular expressions as part of regular maintenance operations, complicated by frequent escapes because I typically was so goddamned drunk that if I used quotes I would forget whether I was nesting quotes or not, or if I was in the middle of a quoted string at all. Dell's keyboard was absolutely unbearable, and I could not use it to write bash while wasted at a bar with dead in the water infrastructure which is basically the single most important function of a netbook.
I spent about 3 weeks with a Dell netbook because the CFO of our company said we were going all-Dell because we got some pittance of a discount. I said I would no longer be on-call until I got an Acer Aspire One (best shellscripting netbook keyboard, hands down) and it was about 3 days until one got ordered. This doesn't even begin to touch the idiocy of the Dell-only rule, as I'm sure plenty of /.ers are familiar with dysfunctionality of Dell's networking, SAN and NAS offerings which cannot be so cheaply replaced as a netbook.
Anyways, Dell got out of this market because nobody wanted to buy their garbage netbooks, with good reason. In fact, the only computer from a major manufacturer that I can tolerate in this size/weight profile is the Macbook Air-- and it doesn't even remotely begin to compete on price. Losing/wrecking a $300 device is one thing, when an identically configured machine costs $1400 its a much bigger deal.