Ok, lets go ahead and stop saying that E has a major problem with the crack. I've read posters saying they had cracks, and then got replacements no problem. I've also read posters saying they had cracks and can't get replacements. Then you have the people like me who, up to now, haven't said anything because they have no cracks. I've had my M6809 for 3 months now and no cracks. There may be a problem from the factory with screens being screwed on too hard as has been speculated. I just configured a "similar" r3000z with an nvidia 64mb 440go (which doesn't come close to M 9600 speeds) for $80 more than an M6809 after rebates. When just surfing or working with office, I get almost exactly 2hrs 50min before my machine goes down, and that $80 more expensive Compaq was with an 8-cell battery so the battery life would be the same if not worse. I can agree to disagree and recommend either laptop for diff reasons. Compaq probably has better tech support. From my experience with the few questions I’ve had, E-machines is on the ball. They usually get back to me by e-mail in 3 hours or less (depending on the time of day, I live in Singapore, so I don't really wanna’ call for every question) and the one time I did call I spoke to a (seemingly) intelligent well-spoken tech support person within about 7 minutes. So, lets just say that Compaq has Toll-free tech support, and no known issues in the past with hinges cracking, and E-machines has had some issues with it. Who knows how many M680X machines they’ve sold with such great features for a great price? All we do know is the number of posters with problems, which is one element of a much more complicated equation for figuring out the percentages of machines with cracks, and whether or not it’s a “major problem” (Yes, I know that for each person with cracks it’s a major problem) overall.