I'm about to shell out some cash on an upgrade base unit — or perhaps a complete system if I can find one with a good 17" TFT monitor that won't break the bank.
I don't do games, so a top-end system would be irrelevant, even if I could afford one. Also I don't do any video-editing at present, although I might have a go at some point in the future. I get through a fair amount of photo-editing in connection with my website (which consists almost entirely of image-mapped photographs) and I also do a bit of music composition. That's about it really, except for e-mail, webcam chats with family overseas, and general browsing. So I reckon I don't need an ultra-fast processor or a whizz-bang state-of-the-art graphics card, and I can live without cutesy LEDs on my cooling fans. I do need adequate RAM (512MB minimum) and HD capacity (120GB minimum); a decent sound card and speakers; expansion facilities; good build quality, and reliable components from reputable manufacturers. Also (call me old-fashioned) it would be nice to take delivery on the day promised, and to have access to a genuinely helpful local-rate helpline manned by polite people who know what they're talking about.
I've made a shortlist of four potential suppliers, namely JAL, Evesham, Dell and Carrera. JAL are favourite at the moment, partly on the basis of favourable reviews (admittedly from a year or two ago) and partly because they offer complete software on CD-ROM while the others include only an OS recovery disk as far as I can see.
I'd like very much to hear from anyone with recent experience of any of these suppliers.