Selection of a Replacement for 3-year old Dell Desktop for home/office

When my almost 3-year old Dell using Windows Me stopped functioning, I contacted Dell and subsequently received numerous replacement parts (2 motherboards, processor, hot sink). Since the replacements didn't solve the problem, I took the computer to a repair place. I was advised it was totally toasted,  the replacement motherboard and processor were bad,   other parts were possibly bad and it was not economical to repair it. I was disappointed that this happened to one of Dell's more than bargain priced computers (which I had not expected to replace before it was 4 years old). The first Dell I owned never broke down. I want to purchase another desktop and am wondering whether any other brands (Hewlett-Packard? Sony? Others?) might be better constructed at this time and possibly offer more for the money. What do you think?      
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I would question the store that says all of the above is really wrong. I think they may be telling you this because they can't fix it. It's really easy to just say - "it's shot" because the amount of time it would take to hunt down the problem is probably worth more than the computer is...

I have used a lot of machines, and I have become very picky. I will never use Gateway again. I have not had any luck with HP, laptops or desktops.

If you want a good laptop: Thinkpad. But get the nicer ones, some are actually built by Acer, but the higher quality units are still built by IBM in Mexico - yes, not USA built, but very nice laptops.

Desktops: I will remain with Dell. Over the last 4 years I have upgraded to Dells and am phasing out Gateway and all other brands we have (About 800 computers). The Dells have been great, and the only gripe I have with Dell is that they should have a "Fast Track" for knowledgable customers. I shouldn't have to sit on a phone with a tech - and I refuse to do it with Gateway, they are horrible. Dell is a little aggravating, but ten times better than any of the other companies out there.

I also own stock in AMD, but I buy Dell PC's - so what does that tell ya? The PC's are great, no matter the CPU.

Give me brand and model of your motherboard so I can tell you what proccessors does it supports..
Ignore that post :-)
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That's a loaded question;-) There are as many opinions about who makes good PCs as there are people in the world! Personally I have always built my own, and built many for friends, and have rarely had a problem after the first week or two - that's when most problems show up, as long as you don't fool around with the PC, such as overclocking or adding things to it. When you open a PC case there is always a chance it won't work after you close it again!

If you had a problem after 3 years it is probably related to dust build-up in the fans and heat sinks. I clean all my cases, power supplies and heat sinks once a year. If you have the knowledge it's well worth the hour or two. Unfortunately, most people are not aware that PCs require periodic maintenance!

OK, so as for the best thing to buy - I don't like DELL because they force you to buy Intel, and I don't like to be forced to do anything! I would go with HP/Compaq this time, if you really like brand names. Otherwise I would go to a reputable small PC store and get them to build it for you. That way you get exactly what you want, unlike HP/Compaq where you get what you get, specially on the deals. Many of the small places have now been around for more then 10 years, and they do offer warranties too.

My two cents!
dell may force you to buy intel but their customer service is excellent now that they have brought it back to the states.  if i absolutely had to buy a brand name pc i'd go with a dell.  hp's systems are generally kind of generic (low end video/cheap memory/etc.).  the last hp i had was horrid.  the onboard video would not turn off to upgrade the video card and it only liked hp's memory.

also dell's support site is much easier to use than hp's.

cail is right about the buy from a local computer shop thing though.  you'll generally get better parts and it's more customizable.  also if something goes wrong you have a real person to yell at :) .  but just make sure you ask about their warranty and how long parts are covered and how long service is covered.  especially if you're not comfortable working on the system yourself you'll want good service(labor) coverage.

my $0.02
I think you had a fluke there - we use Dell dual Xeon desktops, and they are reliable; we have them on 24/7 until the building has a power down (or the whole coast has a blackout).  You can always find people here who know how to troubleshoot them, too.
Just a quick further to my first post - I don't have anything against DELL for the quality or support. We need more then just Intel where I work, so that we know our product works on anything. Since I can't get those from DELL, and I prefer a single vendor, we have been using a small shop here for the past 10 years. I place an order and get the PC that afternoon. Plus, the few times I've had a problen with a unit, they have never given me any trouble getting it fixed, and fast! Best of all is it's within walking distance!
Thanks for the points, nanwill! Hope you end up with something that satisfies you, and works OK for many years!

I had a great time this weekend - got a 2500+ Mobile Athlon for $119 Canadian, and a new SLK800A heat sink + TDM fan and brought it to 2Ghz@1.55 volts! Need faster mem to go further, but a lot of OCers have gotten 2.7Gig with air cooling out of these little puppies!

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