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R51 special price -- is this a good deal?

I've just started looking at notebooks to replace my old Thinkpad. My priorities are disk drive size, screen size (manipulate photographs in photoshop) processor speed, dvd burner, and wireless.

IBM's Employee Purchase program currently has an R51 on sale from $3500 to $1599 with these specs:
1.7 pentium M
512 RAM
60 Gig HD
15" screen, 128 RAM video
DVD-RW
Built in wireless including Bluetooth
3 year warrantee (can upgrade to 5 yrs for $220)

They said because of the hot deal they were going fast and I should decide before the end of the week. I don't know if this is just sales-talk to push me to buy. I've just decided to buy and haven't shopped around so I don't know how it compares. My last 2 machines were Thinkpads and I've had very good experience with them.

I asked where the support was based and whether the sale to the Chinese company would affect support and they assured me it was US-based (in Atlanta) support and would be for at least 5 years. (again, I wonder whether this is just sales-talk since I don't know how they could guarantee that...)

I'd love feedback on whether this sounds like a good deal or whether you've heard anything to warn away from future IBM purchases.

Thanks!

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