Recently (for my 70th birthday), I saw a deal for the above laptop at a local electronics store. With Vista, it was priced at $NZ 599 or, with W7, $799. I bought it with Vista and then wiped the 250 gb harddisk ckean.
I partitioned with Diskdrake (20 gb for /; 20 gb for /home; and 50gb for /disk). PCLinuxOS 2009.2 (KDE) was installed. It is running very sweetly. To get the Atheros wifi to work effectively, I upgraded the kernel to
kernel-18.104.22.168.tex5 from the repositories. Setting the channel on the Belkin router to Auto rather than 6 has given me good wifi access all around the house.
My first experience with Open Office in this setup resulted in the HP840C printer being invisible. However, that was easily solved by uninstalling the printer in PCC and then immediately reinstalling it.
Friends who have only ever seen M$ products have been most impressed with the clean bootup presentation and ease of use of my new lappy with PCLinuxOS. Tex, take a bow.