I second the advice about not using a wireless keyboard. I had one with my
previous Dell and my current HP. Both would occasionally skip letters. After
typing a paragraph I'd have to go back to find the missing letters. I tried
posioning the transceiver everywhere; no luck. When I installed a wired
keyboard the problem went away. The wireless mouse, on the other hand, is
reliable and a great invention.
My experience with Vista has been mostly positive. I got it on my HP when I
replaced my Dell six months ago. The only problems I can pin on Vista are
incompatible programs (backup) and printer drivers that were not initially
available. FM 6 runs fine. I like the Vista user interface and the search is
great. And it boots and loads programs MUCH faster. Clock speed and memory are
about the same as the Dell, but the new HP is dual core with a bigger cache.
Maybe that's it.
The DVD burner has been very unreliable. I'm now on the fourth one. A second
DVD reader would be very cheap.
I bought RAID and would not do it again. I have it configured as level 1, for
reliability, but reviews I've read suggest the Intel hw/fw is no more reliable
than the disks themselves. The problem I've had comes after a power failure or
when I have to reboot the system using the power switch (often when
troubleshooting those burners). About half the time when the system comes up
the RAID goes through a disk verification that takes an hour and a half. The
system is unuseable during the first hour and merely slow during the remaining
time. I use two layers of backup in addition to the RAID. I would remove it if
I weren't so timid...