Well, I finally did it. Against my better judgement, I ordered a Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop. Furo gave me the nudge I needed. I got the unit with 128 MB of RAM, which I'll probably turn around and eBay to someone else. I ordered 2 256 MB DIMMs from Crucial with the Lockergnome group discount (15% off).
The heat issues shouldn't be a problem. I let my uncle crank on it playing Quake III Arena under Windows ME and it would hang after a while, likely due to overheating of the graphics chipset, but I haven't been able to make it hang since the BIOS upgrade, so it would appear that something has changed. Other than Quake, I haven't seen any heat-related issues yet. It's quite comfortable to have sitting on my lap for long periods of time, even when the hard drive is spinning playing MP3s.
Yeah, but I'm still not sold on its weight. With the second battery inserted, that baby will be close to 10 pounds! This is why God made backpacks.
I unplugged tonight to cozy up on the couch, and after 1 hour of work, I still had 4:14 remaining on the battery life, so figure 5+ hours with 2 batteries. I've basically been doing email, surfing and text editing. That's with a wireless network card and USB mouse running, so completely unplug and I'd bet you could probably add another 30-45 minutes to that. Not as bad as I thought.
Even though Hewlett-Packard's Omnibook 6100 was in my sights for so long, I couldn't wait any longer. The Inspiron's desktop chipset is still a thorn, but it was the lesser of all evils. The HP order process just became too much of a hassle in the end. Dell made it easy to configure and lease their unit(s). And if this thing falls apart on me quickly, Furo is gonna get lashed, bashed, and thrashed.