I'd like your thoughts on a replacement for my laptop.
It's been dying for a long time now. I originally bought it to write my thesis on back in 2002, spending most of an inheritance from my grandmother on the last of the 1.2GHz machines in the now defunct Dixons. A few months ago the keyboard developed the canonical HP Pavilion G-H-F4 problem, which I was able to correct by occasionally unscrewing the case and fiddling with cables. But now, every time I open it, the display shows a mess of unsync'ed blue lines and rubbish, hinting at the screen it ought to show, unless I have the laptop almost closed. Fiddling with cables doesn't help, although as all the connectors warm up then I'm permitted to open the shell further and further.
Anyway, I've been watching Dell's abortive open-source offerings (why would you scupper your own product ranges?) eagerly for a while now, waiting for a time when searching dell.co.uk doesn't redirect me back to the .com site with American prices. I've also been sniffing round the now apparently defunct Ubuntu Boxes, which Sean McGrath spotted in his capacity as another avid OS-ready fan. But as nothing seems to be materialising any time soon to enable me to use the software and hardware combination I desire, it looks like I might have to roll my own.
What do people recommend in a laptop that will eventually have Linux on it? Is most hardware plug-and-go these days? What about X and a second monitor, which always seems to be problematic? Anything I should look out for? If all laptops are created evil, pardon, equal, then I may just go for Lenovo or Dell on green issues alone.