Anyway, on to the topic at hand. In the midst of musing about what I'm going to get as my new primary laptop (I'm still dithering, but likely to take the course of least resistance and get a new XP-based machine from Dell or Lenovo -- thanks to umbran and tpau for the pointers), I found out that the machine I'm really *excited* about is coming shortly.
Pretty much exactly as I speculated a few weeks ago, the One Laptop Per Child Project is following through on the idea of a Give One, Get One deal, at the $400 price point I was expecting. It's supposedly a very limited-time deal, although I suspect they'll find that it's worth repeating once they have more traction. They're taking email addresses now as a sort of pre-registration to buy one when they go on sale on November 12 -- I signed up the minute it was announced.
Really: the thing may look like a kid's toy, but if it lives up to its billing, it's damned useful. Yeah, the keyboard is probably going to be crappy, the screen is small, and it's not going to have *all* the software I need. But it's quite cheap (heck, half of that $400 is tax-deductible), reportedly quite sturdy for carrying around, as light as a fancy $1500 laptop, has the most essential common software elements (web browsing and simple word processing), is supposed to have extremely good wireless sensitivity and great battery life. In short, while it's not quite a desktop replacement, it looks like it'll do everything I need a travel laptop to do, for somewhat less money than a high-end cell phone.
I am *so* there. The new Windows box will still probably get the most day-to-day use, but I suspect the XO machine is the one you'll see me with at cons and conferences -- it looks great for most out-of-the-house purposes. Heck, I might start bringing the thing to work, for taking notes at meetings. (I look forward to the incredulous looks I'm going to get, having this cute green-and-white thing amongst the line of grey ThinkPads...)