My 2 favorites at this moment are based on Intel's new 2nd gen Core i7 CPU -- for laptops, the 2670M or its siblings, and for desktops, the 2600.
2 reasonably priced machines, a desktop, and a laptop, available now, at a discount, that I like a lot are the:
HP h8xt, which comes fully equipped with the Core i7 2600 processor, 8 GB of RAM and all of the goodies you need including a 15 month Norton Internet Security Subscription, Blu-Ray, free shipping and so on for about $850.
This is a great deal. You migh want to add a bigger power supply (I would) or an extended warranty, but that's up to you:
and the :
HP dv7tqe, which comes with the Intel Core i7 2670QM mobile processor, a 17.3in 1080p screen and Blu-Ray, etc, and more for about $900.
This is another great deal and takes about $500 off the list price of the laptop, and is based on an unadvertised coupon code that you can get through TechBargains:
Note you have to copy the discount code and enter it in the coupon code box at checkout.
Both of these machines are available as I write this, but can disappear at any time.
Also, since it is true now more than ever before, that *** Power = Longevity *** these machines will last you a while, too.
Nothing says Happy Holidays like buying well and keeping the change.
Photo credits: My screen captures at HP