Hopefully Google won't cock up their Chrome OS and we'll see some decent netbooks back on the market.
Packet collisions wouldnt be an issue on a small test rollout. Its when there are a hundred such devices all chattering on the network where suddenly nearly all packets fail to arrive.
Packet collisions don't occur on modern networks, though. Were they actually running token ring (or pre-token ring), or was that just sarcasm?
If all else fails, lower your standards.