Good Windows Machine?

The wife’s iBook is on its very last legs — she uses it for email and NYT crossword puzzles — since I always feel the need for speed, I decided to give her my 2 year old MacBook Pro and order a new one (w/8 gigs of RAM !) for my travels.

That got me thinking: My office Windows machine (ordered with XP instead of Vista) is also getting old and slow. I am thinking about ordering a new machine.

I use a lot of programs at once — Word, Acrobat, Outlook, Excel, Bloomberg and multiple Firefox windows running a dozen tabs a piece.

Whats the way to go — Dell or HP? What machine and configuration would you suggest?

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