The thing is, though, that since Linux isn't as much of a resource hog as Windows, you won't really need big iron to get good results. I just got a new laptop to run Linux on from www.half.com for under $400, and then just picked up Redhat 9 for $12 bundled with a Linux magazine at a bookstore. The laptop has 256 MB RAM and a decent processor, and 12 GB hard disk space. OpenOffice.org runs nice and fast on it, and as mentioned in another Q&A, installation and setup for Redhat 9 were really slick.
This was first published in February 2004