PJ, sounds like your laptop is perfect for what you need it for, and a step up from before. That'* all you can ask of it.
Pooky'* Xmas laptop isn't anything special either. Moderate processor, 512 RAM, CDRW/DVD, and wireless built in. Just exactly what she needs, and not a bit more, but budget was a concern, and I was able to get it with my discount for $504. (It'* a compaq, but I still get the discount as we own them).
If it lasts her 2 or 3 years while meeting her needs, it was worth it.
I think you'll do well too.
The Dell/hp thing is just a little fun battle between Hans and I. We work for competitors.