I agree with superboy, I really like the Sony design. Very nice. But the tech hardware just isn't in the same league as the 9300. And don't forget the price. For similar price comparision (with the Sony still more expensive) you'll have to compare the first gen Centrino Sony A270 with the 9300, which means it doesn't have 533, dual channel (don't think the A6xx has dual channel eventhough it's an Alviso), DVI, more USB ports.
Ultimately, I think I'll have to close one eye and just get the 9300, it's just better and cheaper. Except we don't know how good the Dell screen is. I know that the 9300 is a 90 watt machine while the Sony A is 168 watt, meaning it is a 2 bulb LCD panel vs 1 (educated guess).
Sonicwind, how does your sages 89xx compare with the Sony A170 in terms of the screen. And please do tell us how the 9300 compares with the Sony, and if you can do so asap, just a one liner answer would be great (cause the discounts are ending very soon). Thanks again.