I cannot believe that I cannot get a computer from Dell that does not have Windows on it. I could, but it would be one of the shit boxes we use at work. They are pretty cheap, but they have no sound card on board. The video card on the system is horrendous. It is a brand new system with a video chipset that is labeled as "legacy" from the manufacturer.
So, I've gone to a local manufacturer called Directron. I've bought things from them before. They are over on the Southwest Freeway somewhere. The only thing that I have to find out is if I can upgrade the ram on the special. They have some options, but not many, for the purchase. It looks like they will be happy to sell you the computer without an OS. I'm a linux developer and do not need to drop the extra $100 to $200 on an OS I'm getting zero functionality from. The system looks pretty similar to the Dell, but for about $100 less. This means my expertise will transfer.
I have an email in to the folks over at Directron. I know how this goes. No one will answer it until the Spring thaw so I'll give them a call tomorrow and find out if a human can help me. Worse case, they are closed and I have to call them next week. This means the holiday specials will have ended or changed and I'll have to go through the selection process again. No big deal.
Directron Holiday System Special 2: AMD Athlon II X4 Quad-Core CPU, 4GB DDR3 1333, 250GB HDD, 24X SATA DVD-Burner
Processor: AMD AM3 Athlon II X4 640 3.0Ghz Quad-Core Black Edition Processor.
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1333 Memory.
Storage: 250GB SATA hard drive.
Optical Drives: Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Motherboard: MSI GF615M-P33 Socket AM3 MicroATX motherboard with GeForce 6150 chipset.
Case: Black Logisys 10 Bays SOHO CS206 Mid Tower Computer Case with 480W power supply.
Video: Onboard. Optional Dedicated Card. [ The GeForce 6150 Onboard Video is OK for light gaming. For more regular gaming consider adding something like one of the optional Geforce 9600GTs ]
Audio: Onboard. 6 Channel Audio
USB: 2 Front [lower left], 4 Back [USB 2.0]
Network: 10/100 Onboard.
Dell Link The data from Dell's site is too much of a pain to copy and paste. In summery, the CPU is more expensive and all the options are way over priced.