theres always a new one every time you turn around
dells are great on price but i would have to say pretty poor on quality: you cant overclock them because of the dell mobo, the power cords for laptops go bad quickly, and the mobos usually cant support any faster processor than the one they come with stock
just my opinion but i would say shell out a few hundred mroe and get a much better computer
I wouldn't say Dells are poor on quality. They use some well-known stuff like Nvidia video cards, Samsung ram, Hitachi hard drives, Lite-On, Biostar motherboards, and they still run much quieter, almost silent, compared to what I build. My computer sounds like one of those window unit air conditioners with its (3) 80mm/2500rpm fans.
Besides, at the rate that computers are progressing, I find myself getting a new system every 2 years or so. It's a cheap solution. For what the general public uses a computer for, they don't need some hardcore overclocking equipment, and I doubt they'll even know how or even know what overclocking is.
the lack of features doesn't make a system poor quality, most people don't overclock (including me) anymore as the cpu speeds are so high now it barely makes a difference anymore, but at the same time, you shorten the life span of your cpu and possibly other components due to the added heat in your case.
Dell systems are very solid, and as Zack mentioned they're really quiet too. I own a couple Dell desktops that range from a 800Mhz P3 to a 2.8Ghz P4(my wifes new computer). Their laptops aren't bad either, I've never had any problems out of mine, while it's starting to get old(1.1Ghz), it still does everything I need it to do and hasn't ever given me a problem. It's a little sluggish at times compared to my AMD 2100+ desktop (but it's not expected to be as fast since it's only a 1.1Ghz), but I don't do much on it other than normal computer tasks.
My wife's dell laptop has the issue with the power cords. The connectors break on it and I keep having to buy more cords - probably because my girls use that machine sometimes too... I do think that dell plans it that way though to make up for the cheaper up-front prices... I like the machine but I would rather have a plug that's metal like my HP laptop that I use.