I love this entry from Raymond Chen. I’ve added his blog to the links on the main page of this site. It’s the one called “The Old New Thing”.
I wonder if the major manufacturer he mentions could have been IBM? Probably not. I wouldn’t put it past Compaq or HP to produce hardware on the cheap. I’ve owned models from both companies in the past and have typically experienced flakiness in the performance when making hardware changes. I’ve also worked on a number of IBM PCs and have never had a problem with flaky performance.
I suppose “you get what you pay for” is applicable when you’re buying any kind of electronic equipment.