Do you need powerful, dedicated graphics, or is integrated graphics good enough for you?
What is the intended use of that laptop?
I'm not entirely sure what I want to be honest; I had originally started out wanting a ThinkPad because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It seemed a T61p was probably just within budget at ~£200. Having read of all of the GPU issues I started considering newer models and gradually I ended up increasing my budget, until I reached the stage of 'If I'm spending this much it really does have to be something I want'. Actually, I've now been looking for a little over two weeks and having made the decision to increase the budget I now think (if possible) I'd probably feel more comfortable spending nearer to my original budget of £200. I'm not sure if this is possible or not. I've had many offers to consider from this forum and I'm currently giving each and every one a good amount of thought.
My only concern at the moment is that all of the offers I've had from here work out very reasonable price wise but after adding international postage, customs fees and the cost of sourcing and replacing a UK keyboard I'm not sure if the price remains much better than buying directly in the UK. Having said that, I'd feel far more comfortable purchasing from knowledgeable folk like yourselves than random eBay sellers, usually selling ex-corporate machines in bulk. It, unfortunately, does not seem that there are many guys in the UK that having anything available on this forum.
The expected use case for the laptop is general web browsing and possibly to watch DVDs etc. I will also use the machine for programming on - both for my own needs and when connected remotely to my office computer. For this reason a good high resolution screen is necessary. I originally *loved* the idea of the 1920x1200 screens on the T61p/W500 however reading comments on here I'm not sure if I should be considering an alternative screen.
Essentially, I don't mind too much what I get so long as it's the T or W series and is in a good, clean and complete condition and gives me great value for money. I'd ideally like to keep my budget low however I understand you get what you pay for and with that in mind I'd considering upping the budget.
[Note, to those who I am already in contact with - This message does not mean I have discounted the offers you have made. To the contrary I am considering them all and trying to work out what suits me best. The charges associated with purchasing intentionally are my biggest stumbling block at the moment].