How many Dell laptops have you had? What models? What are the specs? I've supported hundreds of Dells, Macs, HPs, and Lenovos. The Dell Latitudes since the D630 models are quite nice; of course they had Core2Duo CPUs. The newer E5XXX and the E6XXX models are speedy. The D600 models were the only models I didn't like and that's due to the crap Pentium M CPUs and slow disks. The c640s are power hungry and suck dry the battery but run okay and are built very well. I still have a few D610s in the field. I have an E5420 i5 laptop which runs Win7 often has Windows 2008 with SQL 2008, Windows XP, and CentOS 6.2 running simultaneously in Virtualbox without problems, as does the Thinkpad T420 I setup. Of course this means very little without stating the specs, like SSD. Your post seems anecdotal, which does not help the OP. If the end user is going to run Windows, I suggest to, using the specs of a Mac as a benchmark, purchase a Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, or HP. It will save you at least $200. I like Asus, Sony, and Fujitsu laptops, but their support is terrible for end users. I haven't even seen a Gateway laptop since 2001. They were awesome in quality but not price.