coax, from the text you've given us, the history of your relationship with Dell, the facts involved, and the time you've obviously wasted on this matter, I would say that I am almost certain that Dell will see to you getting what you deserve. no one is trying to wrong you, you've just been unlucky. this mechanisms seem to be in place to filter out those that aren't dedicated to their end, but I've yet to see a person fight Dell and not eventually get what they want (if deserved, of course). A quick suggestion for next time, though, even though it is obvious that you are displeased and annoyed most of these emotions do not belong in an e-mail to a VP of a company, or one of his cronies. They can certainly detect the failure of a component of their corporation, and calmness on your part goes a long way to show that you're serious about business. Then again, it's obvious you're serious when you're blanket-emailing all of the suits in Austin. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're trying to prove to them that you're better than the idiots on the phone. The letter was well written, however, and like I said I'm confident you'll find resolution.
To answer your question about the consumerist: it is just a very high profile website that gets a lot of views, issues posted on it have a relatively high profile. it is a blog, however, and not a news site, so you won't be seeing a lot of people quoting it. I absolutely love it, it's helped me sort out who I need to be when dealing with a company that I'm paying my hard earned money to for a service they promised.
Did you really make a claim with the BBB?