Well, thanks to ron5555, I've finally had a chance to see a 9860 in person. Thanks Ron for spending so much time with me
Anyhow, the machine seems built reminiscent of some of the old luggables of yore (Kaypro and compaq, with CRT)... in other words, it seems built to last. Ron had 66+ processes running on it, using about 460 of 2G available Ram. The machine was playing music, had tons of stuff open, and was idleing around 2%. Menus and new tasks leapt to life, like word or Visual foxpro jumping like they were already in Ram. Pow! Zup! (add other Batman sound-effects here)
Other niceties: The screen was incredible, keyboard and touchpad perfect. Noise was no louder *at load* than my toshiba 1955 at idle. Speakers sound nice, resolution at native is readable by me, and would provide a nice boost over the 1280*1024 I am running now.
There was warmth on the left palmrest. I don't really see this as an issue if it stays at the level I saw. It could be distracting if it increases much more than I felt. Ron had fabbed a nice solution with wireless, so it was no trouble for him, I would probably do the same.
All in all, I'm still on the fence, but I don't fee quite so uncomfortable; I am still concerned that I could be the "lucky" one to get a lemon, but that same chance exists with all consumer goods, right?