i have bought a few refurbished machines and they were always tits. and they carry the same warranty as a new system so it is a better deal. i just have had bad luck with my replacements. i would say my story is not the norm, i am very picky and seem to brutalize my laptops, so it is partially my fault, but the m1710 replacement i got is definitely something to think about.
and, you can return the outlet system if it is messed up at all
i would recommend the outlet systems for sure, just carefully inspect it