Dude, I got a Dell
One of my customers bought me a Dell PC as a gift this week. They quite rightly thought that a dual P4 system would wean me off of using a Mac for their work :-)
The system came with a **lot** of software on it that I did not want. Fortunately, it was simple to burn an OS-reinstall CDR, wipe the disk to also make room for Ubuntu Linux, and reinstall Windows XP. The latest issue of Communications of the ACM was my companion during this process.
Actually, I find Windows XP to be "OK" when it is stripped down to a base install, and just a Java SDK, IDE, OpenOffice.org, and Firefox installed. Strip away the fluff for a working fairly decent working environment...