Recently I've been saving money for a new ThinkPad with hope they would make new line with Ivy-bridge better (I do not like 16:9 format screens on T420 because it makes whole laptop look wider almost as wide as 15,4" would be and I want 14" laptop and not to pay for 14" and get 15,4". Plus ever since T410, keyboards started to look weird to me, so I hoped T430 would bring some change for the better, but we have what we have). I think you know what I'm talking about, so no need to start yet another rant about new vs classic. What I wanted to share is how I decided to spend my hard saved cash and of course to brag a bit so bear with me.
First I had to know what kind of ThinkPad would work best for me. This was easy, I owned some ThinkPad's in the past (600E most loved TP of them all, T23, T30, X40, T43, X60, X61s, T60, T61, T400) and T series always proven to be best suited for me. Now, if T410, T420 and T430 are not acceptable and I find T60 and below lacking in terms of processor power, RAM amount and older hard drive interfaces (PATA/SATA1) this rules out two candidates: T61 and T400 both machines are fine though I've been leaning towards T400 but then took into account that T61 are much more cheaper there is many more of them imported here and it's possible to get IBM
branded one. So I've picked my target: Ultimate T61 to last me until lenovo gets some sense.
Now the fun begins when I buy like 4 T61 machines more or less at once. What a lucky coincidence that one forum member had just what I needed for a base (T61 IBM branded, clean, with no "stupid" finger print reader 14,1" wide screen machine with intel GPU Penryn motherboard). All that was left to do is find few other T61 with the thing I want, like factory WWAN, Web Cam, PCMCIA+Express card, a nice and bright WXGA+ screen, NMB keyboard and I already had SSD drive, T9300 CPU, Panasonic battery and IBM backpack.
While a base T61 was traveling from US I managed to buy 3 more T61 machines (some were better deals and some were not so good), but I've got from them all the things I wanted plus some extra chargers and advanced mini dock, spotless LG WXGA+ screen and even base plastic with 7661-CTO model on it. When base T61 arrived I had all the ThinkPad fun possible (Imagine disassembling and assembling ThinkPads all week after work. Of course no ThinkPad gone to waste, I made all of them into working units and sold cheaper to compensate cost a bit and now I am left with a ThinkPad T61 (specs in signature) which is completely assembled by my own hands and I know it to the last screw. Plus 3 extra chargers and dock (I use dock at work, I carry one charger in a backpack and two at home). Also a nice touch to mention is that I've used somewhat more "juicy" heatsink from T61 Nvidia model which combined with T9300 cpu is dead silent (on battery fan never spins)
This system cost was around 400$ (excluding SSD). I've got Ultimae T61 system to serve me for a while, like real ThinkPad should, considerable amount of experience on T61/T400 systems and certainly lots of fun (can't put a price on this). There is Slackware Linux (which is being passed from ThinkPad to ThinkPad ever since T43) running on it. Only thing left is to decide which device would be more usefull in the ultrabay (DVD-RW, 2nd Battery or 2nd hard drive).
Bottom line, if lenovo is producing crap which you do not appreciate, you can rant about it or do something about it or both
Thak you for attention