Thanks for all the good ideas, folks. We decided to wait a while, because we realized we just don't need a laptop right now. Still, I'll use some of these suggestions when shopping in the future. Again, thank you for the help!
it'* a shame you didn't go to Circuit City or Best Buy. Circuit City had BRAND NEW Compaq laptops that had excellent specs and Windows Vista for $199, and Best Buy had a similarly spec'd machine for $239. Black Friday ROCKS.