Well, I just started my a new design firm in November (officially Jan 1st). I decided sometime back in Dec that I was going to need to get a PC laptop to run my solid modeling program Alibre. --I was leeching off my old bosses license (which he was fully aware of), but decided in Jan to get a full copy for myself (there was a deal going to get the software $500 off; $1500 originally).-- I need a laptop for a couple of reasons: being able to show projects to clients when I meet with them, having a pc when I travel down to my workshop in San Diego (there's a desktop machine there now, which will move to an office space eventually) and having an extra machine to work on when my gf is working on her pc at home (we don't have enough space to set up a second desktop at her place). I needed a laptop with a good amount of power and powerful GPU; I also needed at least a 15" screen (pref. widescreen) and a resolution of at least 1440x900 on 15.4 and 1650x1080 on 17. For those resolutions, it rules out most brand-name pc laptops. I don't get why brand-namers sell nothing but WXGA, but that's a rant for another day. I entertained the idea, for a few weeks, of getting a new Macbook Pro, but the development of getting windows to run hasn't been going so good (plus there's the one button trackpad issue). Before the core duo debut, I was looking at getting the Sager 5320, but I got concerned about quality issues I've noted on various boards, plus now wanting core duo.
I looked at everything; every notebook out there. Beyond the Sager, the 8204 had the features I needed: screen rez and GPU. Plus the core duo (which I wanted, but probably didn't need) and it's got 2 gb RAM, which I discovered that I needed to run my software. When it comes down to it, the Acer IS pricy. But when you're looking at a hanful of notebooks --I could compare the Acer to the Macbook Pro (which I did). The upper end MacBook Pro is a 1.8 core duo with the x1600 256mb and 1 gig and is alreay $2500.-- The acer comes out on top of my list.
It's funny that I've always been such a harcore Mac person. And now I'm considering getting rid of all my macs (a G4 desktop 1.4 ghz-upgraded from 1999 and an ibook from 2001). I still do my graphics on them, but with windows I can do both my 3D and run adobe apps. It's too bad. But I know I'm going to love my 8204