After some hand wrangling and some massaging of the credit card company, my new-to-me laptop has arrived. It is true, ,it lacks a firewire port, but I couldn't be happier. The screen is nice and big, and bright and clear. All of the complaints about the Inspiron 600M such as the warm left wristpad and the keyboard are non-issues with me. My left wrist does get a bit warmer than the right, but everything else makes up for it. I actually like the feel of the keyboard and the touchpad more than my old laptop.
The best part was that it didn't take too much to get it up and running and on my home wireless network. I'm currently backing up the whole old laptop onto the new one and the whole thing will fit on one DVD.
I feel like I have re-joined the modern era - and I think I could actually travel to someplace like Japan with it and not be too embarrassed.