I bought this computer about 2 and a half years ago. Dell was having a sale where any purchase over $1500 would be $750 off. I put together the specs I wanted, making sure to just barely go over $1500. After taxes and whatnot, the price came out to about $840.
I bought this laptop for college. It worked well for about a year, then as soon as the warranty ended, the optical drive stopped working properly. It now often has problems reading CDs and DVDs. It seems to have more trouble with CDs however. It also often fails to recognize CD-Rs and DVD-Rs when I insert them. However, if they are recognized, I have no trouble burning.
Another 6 months after that, the PCMCIA slot died. Since I'm using a PCMCIA soundcard, I had to replace that.
Other than these two problems, I wish I had more memory, but that's mostly my fault for choosing the lowest memory option and never upgrading it.
The physical size is pretty much perfect for me. It's small enough to easily fit in a backpack and take to class, while the screen is still big enough to see comfortably. It could stand to be a bit lighter, but it's not backbreaking or anything.