I realize that this question will probably be a little intense, but please keep it under control. Also do not propose an answer, I will select a comment from the expert who provides the most useful insight/facts.
I believe that Dells and Gateways are overpriced and proprietary and someone else states to the contrary. My belief is based on past experiences with both computers.
I realize that the components inside are good in Dells and Gateways. But in my experience you can not use the drivers supplied by the device manufacturer in a lot of cases. I needed to use Dells or Gateways, thus the term proprietary.
Overpirced, because I can purchase a Pentium III 733 equipped the same for $2591.00 vs. $2897.00(Dell) vs. $2688.00(Gateway). The lowest price includes a full 3 year warranty on parts/labor and a 5 year warranty on CPU/MotherBoard/Memory parts. If you review a Dell warranty not all things are covered.(i.e. SoundCard) The Gateway Warranty I could not make heads or tails of. The lowest price here was retrieved from Midwest Micro(http://www.mwmicro.com
), which has been in business for 17 years. I have a computer of theirs that is 4 years old and has never gave me any problems. I know a dozen other people who have had the same experience.
Lets hear what everyone else has to say on this issue.