[quote=gsferrari] The kind of people who buy Dell and Gateway are probably people who dont care about whats in the box as long as it can run AOL
These are off the shelf items...inexperienced users screw up and make a lot of noise...QUOTE]
I think that's an arrogant and assuming statement.
I also own three Gateways, one being a laptop, and have never had a problem. I used to be an IT professional, and I ran a software company for years. I could probably run circles around you on the PC, and I hate AOL!
Neither Sager, Alienware, M-Tech, Pro-Star, Hypersonic or the rest offer as good (or as extended) warranty and support as a DELL or Gateway - period! I've looked into it diligently, and bought a DELL for my uncle. The support he received was phenomenal!
I am now looking to purchase a Sager or Hypersonic, or an M-Tech (one of those other "geek machines") only because they have the latest technology, but I've been hesitant because their warranty/support is only for 1 year, and then it's through Phillips/Magnavox. You, as a consumer, have to pay to return it or send it in (w/Gateway you do NOT). I have been looking at the m675xl, and it's quite a machine, and you can get up to 5 years full coverage including ADP. Even with that option the price is comparable to the geek machines.
Personally, I'd rather have a machine that breaks down three times in a four year period and is 100% covered (free of charge even to ship it in), than a true geek machine that breaks down 2 months after my 1 year warranty expires, and I'm screwed - but at least I got my geek machine. Yeah right!
Support issues are extremely important variables in the equation, and if Sager, Hypersonic, M-Tech and the other geek machines had 3-5 years of extended reliable warranty/support, with no cost to the consumer, then they truly would be the absolute best available out there. The reason those companies haven't been able to compete with Gateway or DELL, is not because of advertising, but because of warranty and support quality - poor by comparison.
I do agree that Gateway's customer service sucksm and DELL's is better, but how often do you need customer service? Tech support/warranty is much better for Gateway, the same as DELL.