Well, I'm on the XPS bandwagon and I have to decide today whether to stay on it or jump off.
As for the design, I'm not to bothered by it. It looks very industrial, solidily built, and looks like a beast. It is heavy but I'm not to worried about that. It would be nice to have a bit slimmer model but I don't have much experience in buying gaming laptops such as alienware/sager. But I didn't go with Alienware because it looked like there were better performance scores coming from the base XPS models. So I just figure it's the trade off for the power that you get. Of course, in the future you'll be able to find the same specs of the XPS on your palm pilot.
Though, I do have to agree that Alienware looks a lot better. It would be my first choice if I didn't know about anything else as far as performance.
My advice for you is this...if you need it now, like I did 21 days ago, then buy it. Although, I don't need it as much as I did back then it's still nice to have. Secondly, if you are going to finance it...know that you'll be getting an annoying bill every month until you pay it off (which may remind you of the question, how bad did I really need it?). I personally thought, hey no interest for a year...cool I can pay it off before then. Now the reality of it is, $300 every month hits hard when you always want to buy more stuff.
Finally, if you want to wait, you'll always be waiting. The tech industry is always evolving and there is no way that you'll have the top of the line for very long. It's not like a car, where you'll have the newest model for at least a year. In the tech world, it's like a few months before the newest tech comes out and makes your toy look like outdated material and then you've got those bills that you are still paying on for outdated material. (heh, can you since that I don't want to pay my bills? )
So best of luck to you. I am thinking I'll keep mine if not for the assurance that I'll be able to get at least one video upgrade, I have enough accidental insurance on the thing that if my 3 year old and 9 month old decide to dump water on it, it'll be covered. (Oh, that was the other reason why I went with Dell is for it's insurance policies)
Hope I helped and best of luck to you.