Sorry for the late reply, for some strange reason I didn't get the e-mail notifications for this thread.
superzingy, to answer your questions, performance seems good with the 1.5 Pentium-M, my desktop machine is a 1.7 Ghz P-4 (256k L2 cache version, quite old) and the laptop certainly feels a lot faster. I upgraded the ram from 512mb to 1gb to slightly make up for the fact that I couldn't get the acer with a faster processor (I would have preferred a 1.6 or 1.7 pentium-m)
When I bought the machine last month in the middle east, I was limited in choice because they didn't have many "high-end" spec laptops, so my choice was between an Asus M6N (1.5 p-m cpu, 512mb ram, 64mb radeon 9600), also non-customisable.
If I had the same choice, I would still go for the Acer. Acer is a very large player in the laptop market.