Overheating seems to be common and Dell was not alone in seeing those burn laps and then burn out. Next time pick a laptop CPU like the Centrino or Turion.
After my dell inspiron 8200 died, I'm leary about getting another dell. I've been thinking about the Toshiba Qosmio f25 (found for $1700), Toshiba Satellite M45, or the HPdv4130.
Here are my needs: Microsoft word, powerpoint, itunes/music and watching DVDs. I occasionally bring the laptop to give presentations.
I don't have cable so I don't plan on using the multimedia center (but the qosmio seems to have more bang for the buck)
I'm concerned about fan noise and overheating (the problem of my dell) but I'm wondering which would suit my needs or if there are any other models out there you would recomend.