I've been watching laptops on Ebay - I need to get a laptop and have gone back and forth on whether to spring for a nice portable (like the Lenovo V100) or just buy an older portable notebook. Laptops have actually come down in price so as not to be entirely ridiculous (at one point you really couldn't get a sub-$1000 laptop and a decently equipped one was likely to be in the $2000 price range).
Now with the appropriate deals from Dell you can get a Core Duo with a gig of RAM for around $700. Unfortunately one thing has not changed: you still pay a premium for portability. Weight has gotten better than it used to be but all the low end laptops are 15.4 inch screen behemoths that I think of as desktop replacements - not what I'm looking for to maximise my on the road/laying in bed productivity. Also, ahem, weighing into my decision is the fact that my main mode of transportation is a motorcycle... Something compact enough to slip in my tank bag would really be ideal.
I just haven't been able to talk myself into paying for a new notebook, however, so I did some research and picked a laptop old enough to be cheap but new enough to meet most of my requirements. A nice Thinkpad T40 has decent Linux support, weighs 5lbs, has built in wireless, a Pentium M 1.5, and with half a gig of RAM ought to run Ubuntu (perhaps with Ratpoison as my WM) nicely enough. Newegg is out of stock but sells them for less than $500 from time to time. Ebay seems to have a steady supply in the low $400 range, so I've added a few to my favorites and kept watch.
It seems, however, that I've underestimated the demand for this particular "loaded" model:
Ok.... Someone is willing to pay almost $6000 dollars for this laptop?
Two someones? Can anyone tell me what is going on? I note the seller has no ratings points so maybe there's a scam of some sort, but I can't figure it out. The bids are way to high to be shill bids designed to drive the price up. Suffice it to say I'm not feeling inspired to bid $6000 dollars for this particular lappy. Very strange...
Update: ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Final bid on this laptop was $20,100.00 (by a bidder with +12 feedback). There were 6 bidders all together and everybody after the first guy is out of his mind. Right now the same model laptop is available with "buy it now" options for $381.00, 400, $599 for one still under IBM warranty. There's even lots of 4 going for $2000! Either somebody is playing a joke on the seller or there is some sort of scam/crime going on here... Again, this is a single used laptop that routinely sells for $400 that sold for over $20,000 dollars...