I think the 600m is a good machine. I don't think dell designs their own machines, but rather makes contracts with companies in Taiwan (I think) to design a series of laptops for them. That's why the 8600, 600m, and the other "last generation" laptops all looked the same, silvery paint with blue touchpad buttons. I owned a 600m about 2years ago, and I liked it a lot. I sold it to buy another laptop, but guess what, I recently just bought another 600m
. Its a nice laptop that's not too big, and is still very light (5lbs is still very light IMHO) while having a decent video card (I can play Guild Wars and Counter-Strike: Source on the ATI 9000 64mb just fine at medium settings). The video card stuff probably doens't really matter to you, but for others, the ATI 9000 is probably significantly better than the intel integrated video card in the 700m. I've personally never understood why the 700m is so popular, it still uses the same older chipset that the 600m had already for 2years, it has a "significantly" worse video card, has a rather cramped keyboard, a screen that is 2" smaller, lacks some legacy ports (serial ports and parallel ports might matter to some people)....All for just ~0.9lbs lighter....However, there's tons of fans of the 700m on these forums, so I've been tempted to get one to just try one myself, to see what's the big deal. I type on the keyboard of the 600m just fine, and the text and icons on my 14.1" SXGA+ (1400x1050 res) are very readable to me (and I don't have the best vision in the world
I DO want to point out some complaints about the 600m that come up frequently. A lot of people say that the overall build-quality of the "new generation" of Dell laptops (notice how the 700m, 6000, 9300, etc all look similar? Probably from the same contractor that Dell hired this time around) is better than the "past generation" of Dell laptops (600m, 8600, etc.). I myself cannot attest to this, since I've only had experiance with the 600m and the 8600. I can tell you that although these machines are NOT IBM T series quality, they are quite good.
Another complaint is that the HDD of the 600m is placed under the left palmrest of the laptop, so that general area does get a bit warm. Its not too bad though, I personally have no problems with it. Also, the 600m does NOT have a firewire port, if that matters to you.
Like you, I plan of selling my desktop PC, and maybe my 600m, and just getting ONE laptop as my ONLY PC. I plan on getting a "mid-size" laptop with a 15.4" LCD, but time and time again, I always come back to reconsider just keeping the 600m. Like I said, it handles all the games I play fine, albeit with medium settings, but good enough. Its very light and compact, yet still a pleasure to use.
Like MitchellO mentioned, if you want a widescreen LCD on your laptop, the 600m is NOT for you. But if widescreen does not matter, I urge you to go back to that Dell Kiosk, and check out the 600m. Sorry for writing a mini essay, but i feel that the 600m is a laptop that is very "under-looked" so to speak. Best of luck in your search!