Holy crap ! a post fest and I missed out on it
First, E machines ARE prone to a LOT more problems than say a Dell. Consumer reports did a reliabilty/repair survey, E machines rated so poorly they were off the chart, Apple was top with dell a close second.
Dell gives you the best bang for you buck.
Stay away from Apple, unless youre a heavy graphics user.
Athlon processors are fine.
Check out Dells used PC's, you may find a bargain there.
Apart from the E machine bias, Emaja has given you a lot of great advice
And finally, well done Zimm for making Kash your first victim of real smack talk LOL