First it's Microsoft that bloats Vista with MPAA DRM protection software, and now PC manufacturers such as Dell are bowing down to the RIAA. These manufacturers seem to forget who their customers are, and are ripping off unsuspecting buyers. Can you imagine spending $1000 of your hard earned dollars on a laptop to find out later that you cannot record audio -- even though the sound card supports it?
Of course teech savvy people like Chad are going to find a solution; and the real copyright violatetrs are going to as well. But the average consumer who wants to dabble in a little audio and video, perhaps for their church or their son's or daughter's sports team, are left with a bag of bolts.
So next time you need a new computer, start with your objectives -- what do you want to use it for -- and then do your homework before you buy to make sure the hardware will support it. If you're thinking about audio, photos, and video, you might give Macs a hard look. Using their iLife products, that may even come bundled, are supposed to be real easy. Further, if you do have a need for an occassional Windows program, the Mac support Windows within the Mac OS using software such as Parallels.