The snag is that most vendors sell PCs with the OS already installed. With Vista being a current flavour it is difficult to find anyone who sells with XP. You may be put in a position where you are forced to buy a PC with Vista installed and buy a copy of XP separately unless you can find a supplier that will provide to your specification.
You could get a Novatech PC as an example, they will sell without an OS and you could just add a XP Home OEM disk. You would have to buy it at the same time, otherwise they would not sell the OS disk without you buying more hardware.
Have asked Cube if they would do this and they have offered to put XP Home on instead of Vista Premium (saving £20 if anyone else is interested). I just feel safer with XP Home as I know my way around it now and am reluctant to delve into something which seems to cause lots of agro (read Vista forum).
There's no point going with an old OS. Vista is fine, the issues are with third-party drivers. And if you're a gamer, you're going to want DX10 at some point, which you can't have on XP. Why be Luddite? It's pointless and obtuse.
I think it's obtuse to want to go back to an old OS when there's a better one out there; and particularly when it's going to be difficult to do so. And the OP says he's a gamer: later this year most, if not all, games will support DX10. No Vista, no DX10. Fine if you want to stick your head in the sand and ignore progress, but I'm entitled to describe that as obtuse. It's just a bit lame not to be prepared to work with Vista. It's not so different to XP that it's going to be hard or unpleasant to learn but it's a much smoother computing experience. I'd understand if it were a really painful process, but it's not.
because it works fine with you, and i have read about the problems you have had, it doesnt mean that it's for everyone else, i didnt get along with it myself and to be honest wonder what exactly the 'wow' about it is, i love xp and if i had bought a pc with vista i would have gone straight out and bought vista, i seen threads where you have shot folk down for offering an opinion which has no relevence to the thread openers question, which seems to be the case here. the question was can you buy a gaming pc with xp on it, to which t.b and others offered good advice, there are loads and loads of gamers who hate vista, simply because the games they play dont run with it, in a few months time this may change, but if you have loads of current or recent games IMHO you need xp for the time being. and i would also choose novatech with xp, i have a copy of vista and may well use it in the future, untill then i am more than happy with xp, as i suspect dnjl is.