well, you can grab a dell latitude d600 refurbished with warranty on ebay for around 300 bucks. The Pentium M is still more than enough power for basic computing.
otherwise, you can wait for some deals for laptops around $500-600 from fry's, circuit city, best-buy etc. Or...you can configure a dell/hp for something of a similar price. The base price for a 1501 is $599.
I am looking at a hp v6000 or a sony vgnn170 for price/basic computing.
I need a cheap laptop that can get high speed internet at hotels, microsoft office products, anything but microsoft vista (don't want/trust/need) and internet for mail, newspaper etc. I do not do games, watch tv etc. do listen to xm radio as I have in truck. any ideas? thanks