Teck and Tommi,
A big thank you for your comments. Really helpful.
Tommi, I agree with you on the internal mic, although I thought it would be easy to solve by buying a clip on mic.
Teck, You make some interesting answers.
a) PATA issue is fine, although I am intrigued as to why they did this instead of SATA.
b) PCCard Firewire is slower than built in FireWire.
I appreciate your commendation. At times I felt I was getting obsessive, but a laptop is more...