If the comp has a CDRW then there is little need for a floppy because all desk machines have a CDROM drive that can read the data from a written CD.
Also a CD has far higher capacity so that more than just word files can be transferred.
A portable compact flash reader is also handy as a file transfer device, and the USB pen readers are becoming more common in the market, and with the introduction of Win XP there is really less need for floppies these days.
I built my latest machine without a floppy, and if you do want one, they only cost about a fiver/tenner and can easily be fitted, so its not really a problem providing the PC has a writer which most have now.
Floppy drives can still be uiseful. My latest comp' has cd-writer, floppy drive and zip drive. All three are used on a regular basis. It all depends what you want to use your computer for. Horses for courses.
Since new/recent PCs will boot from CD I guess the most likely use for a floppy is a cheap way to transfer or post files between users or older PCs - if they can't be emailed or you don't want to burn a single or small file on a full CD.
Well, some PCs do require a floppy for things like booting it up when there's trouble. I think that this move is likely to affect first time buyers since they are the kind of customers who still expect floppy drives to be present and for quite a lot of kids, floppies are essential for transporting their work between school and home. Not every school has a CD-RW installed to allow their pupils to backup their work. Floppy drives are much quicker but I would expect Dell to at least add a Zip drive since that is a mix between a floppy and CD-RW.
Dell machines, like many others now have their own 'designer' facsias, often ommiting space for any additional drives, won't be able to fit one very easily, without a dremmel then.
Floppy disks, owing to easier formatting can transport and archive useful files like your Internet Favourites list, for one thing. CDs, owing to the usual ISO Joliet or whatever CDFS format used will make a hash of long Favourites names, owing to incompatibility with the often super long names sites give on particular parts of their index. Pain in the xxxx to edit all of those, so I use floppy disks, if ever I think I need to keep the Favourites/Bookmarks I have for transfer.
Jedi is spot on - what about all those kids? Floppy disks are very resilient in some respects, bouncing around school and college bags - CDs get smeared to non readible state by gooey handed kids. Maybe zip disks then, or everyone should have their own USB drive stable state memory pen. But where'd you leave it last?