I had the idea a few weeks ago to get Mrs. Bud a new laptop and dress it up as a giant candy bar for her easter basket, and while I knew I should stick with XP Pro to match all the other boxes in the house, I didn't want to direct ship one to me and I couldn't find one locally so I gave in and purchased a vista box locally. It's a Sony VAIO NR series.
While going through all the normal first few hours of welcome screens and signing up to this and that and otherwise trying to turn it into something that would work Mrs. Bud's way when first she presses the on button, I find that it drops the household wireless and eventually just turns the wireless part off despite reporting that its working great, etc. Minor research says this is an intel wireless vista problem common to many Sony and Dell (and perhaps other) computers. Plugging in a Cat-5 cable to the wireless router works super. 3 other boxes in the house use the same wireless router without problem, but they're all XP.
Since I'm inherently lazy (remember, I ride a recumbent, but then again, I did get in 3000 miles in 2007), and I've seen this technique used successfully in foo, who can tell me the fastest most permanent and peculiarty-free correction that should be made? Back to the store for a refund and buy that direct ship model with XP Pro? Back to the store and make them fix it. Go to the BF of Vaio-land and find just the right driver and spend a day installing and uninstalling myself? I'll try just about anything, but I'm sure someone has already solved this for me. BTW, a casual search and read of a few posting/blogs/etc related to this problem make it sound like Sony support is not yet ready to fix it, but that intel probably has, if you are technically capable to add and delete your own electrons (I'm probably not ready to delve too deeply).
I'm of two minds. If you can get Vista working, it will be decent. However, the option of returning it and perhaps getting the XP machine or a Macbook may be viable too.
I personally bought a Vista laptop, stuck Windows Server 2008 on it, and am happy with that, although for someone not in college, Windows 2008 costs an even grand. However, I'm lucky to be able to hunt down the right driver from HP's website, find the 64 bit equal, and go from there.
Life is too short to be trying to get a laptop just out of the box to work with wireless if you don't have the time to futz with it. I'd consider the return option.