well, for the processor, i plan on getting just the 1.6.
with the hdd, i can get a lot more for the optional 80G upgrade for 165. for about 130...i can get a 160G 7200rpm hdd + external case.
same applies for the dvd+rw. the lowest price i've seen for the optical drive, 8x speed is for 70 dollars...+40 for the case and that comes out to about 110, give or take 10 bucks for tax and shipping.
for ram, i'll probably just pick up a 512 crucial stick for 100...
compared to upgrading alienware, i can save about...100 bucks (not counting the ram). the only downside is that everything will be external and hard for me to carry around, but i don't really see it as a BIG problem. 20G should be enough to store everything for carrying the notebook around....and if i just leave the burning at home, i feel like i should be fine. just my feeling....would like to get opinions from couple other people though.
if you wanna see links to the dvd+rw and hdd that i'm talking about, let me know and i can post them.