Last time I went into Best Buy they told me that most machines they're getting in only have software partitioned on the HD. I asked the salesmen what happens if your HD blows up (one of my HP's blows a HD every 9 months without fail)... he just looked at me and blinked. They said basically the same thing at Costco. Maybe I just ran into a couple of idiots....I don't know.
I really miss not being able to just drive around the block to walk into a Fry's electronics.
I think I'm going for my first netbook next week. The battery life times on some of them are fantastic... if you can believe them.