To follow on to the previous entry about .NET system requirement, I do agree I can buy or build a PC desktop system for well under $1000. The big downside is that ties me to home, and some days I like to visit and work with other work-at-home friends at their place. (Any other work-at-home people do that?)
I'm thinking now about what Brian Jepson said and using either VMWare or Virtual PC to set up a virtual copy of Windows XP on top of my Windows 2000 laptop. It'll let me run an isolated copy of the OS so when .NET blops its DLL turds all over the place they don't affect my real system -- while at the same time I can bring one laptop everywhere and do my .NET work as needed! It's like dual booting without the pain of booting. Cost is $300 for VMWare or $200 for Virtual PC. Both have free trials, so we'll see how they work. If anyone else has tried these, especially for .NET development, I'd love to hear it.