I have an Inspirion 1100, have had it for a few months, and love it. Here's the thing you have to remember about dell, and this would apply to Gateway as well. The computers that they sell really cheap are cheap for a reason. The trick is to increase the potential of the computer from the base level to something much more manageable. Here are some important items:
1. Always make sure to get Windows XP Professional. Home edition (usually the default) is what causes a computer to crash, not the computer itself).
2. Increase the processor speed, on a new computer today, you shouldn't be usuaing anything less than 2.4 ghz.
3. Increase the memory. At least 256mb ram, but I'd say 512 with today's software needs.
4. Make sure it has a CD Burner, floppy drives are becoming harder and harder to find.
If you make your computer to the right specs, it'll work. Too many people just go for the quick deal.