Well, with a lot of toys breaking recently (my Rio, a hard drive, headphones, and both of my PDAs inside of the past 6 months), I managed to finagle my way into getting a laptop in exchange for all the birthday and Christmas presents I was ever going to get for the rest of my life. :) I was pushing for one anyway for school, and the sudden breakage of all else portable in my life pushed that priority up very quickly. The laptop is a Sony Vaio PCG-GRX570, with a P4 1.6Ghz, 40GB hard drive space, 512MB RAM, and a 16.1" screen. I know this is one of the places I'm surrounded by people older than myself, but I look back 10 years ago at my 486/33 and I couldn't imagine measuring anything in gigahertz, let alone more than one. And in something that weighs just a few pounds.
As for how it works? Wonderfully. I blew away XP right away (I'll be going for the refund in about a week; the reason I'm waiting a week will be revealed below) - sound, display, CD-RW, accelerated X, USB, ACPI, and jogwheel all working. Granted, I don't think a single one of them worked out of the box, but I'd rather have to spend two days and get everything working that have half the stuff work right away and the rest never. If you have the money ($2600 unfortunately, $2100 if you can find a floor model like I did ;), I definitely recommend it as a GNU/Linux system. I'll be working on a guide for installing and configuring Debian on it later,
Tomorrow my wisdom teeth come out. But tonight, I think I'll rate some Advogato diaries.
raph, I have very fond memories of The Phantom Tollbooth from when I was 6. I still have my battered paperback copy on my bookshelf, although its now next to SICP rather than Cars and How They Go.