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Did you consider Pocket PCs? I think your point about PDAs vs. notebooks is well taken, though - when you get into the $500 PDA range, you might as well consider the bulkier but more powerful notebooks.
I figure a Pocket PC would enable me to do blue-screen reboots whenever I want to, instead of being tied to my clunky desktop. ;)
I find the OS's memory treatment awfully awkward to try and figure out. Is there a way to assign categories on the memory card? While I realize that the operating system must keep the memory separate in some respects due to the removability of the card, can't it be a little more transparent? I want to be able at least to move applications around without 'copying' and then 'deleting' them.
What's more, many applications won't seem to run correctly on the memory expansion. ThinkDB documents, DeepReader docs, even Hackmaster applications completely disappear unless they're run directly from the main memory. Well, what did I buy this memory for, then, if not to run applications and store data? Even the Free Solitaire program copies itself back into main memory.
The thing's crashed 3 or 4 times in only a week of use. I have a hack or two running on it but not too many, and a few apps. Mainly, Multibook, A cyrillic font add-on, DeepReader, and stuff.
Other things to watch out for: I was told to not use regular screen protectors on it because they weren't designed for color screens, and so I have to wait until they either arrive at the store or order them online. Something about the colors not showing up correctly unless you use the correct protector. It sounds like a salesman's load of bull to me, but anyway...