On the business side with server support, those jobs are still in the US and I receive excellent support from most all the major vendors.
Here is my Picks on Vendors Home and Desktop support ratings.
- Dell (but they have been on the decline for that last 6 months and their support is getting worse)
- HP/Compaq (good support, can be difficult to get to, hold times are long) I am not a big fan of their priority none up gradable hardware, but it is quality.
- Gateway (Support can be very frustrating and an unwilling to replace failed hardware without speaking to a supervisor)
- Off brand or other vendors: I don’t not have any customers that have other one off brand systems. Dell has been the defacto standard and their warranty program and onsite support is better than the rest. If others wish to comment about their vendor I would love to hear about your experiences.
- SONY: I have a Sony Viao. I love my Viao, but Sony is by far the worst company I have every dealt with on tech support. Not only would I give them a failing grade on support, but I would expel them from the tech support industry. They have the crappest warranty program which basically covers nothing. Their repair turn around time is about 6 weeks on the minimum 3 months has been the worst case. They over charge for part to the turn of about 50%. You never get to speak to the hard support people, only a customer rep who knows nothing, and they will not let you speak to a supervisor of any sort. Their customer support is in FL and the hardware repair center is in CA. I will never buy another Sony computer product ever, not will I ever recommend them to anyone for anything. If you have or buy a Sony computer product, expect to go to tech support Hell. It angers me as we are a Sony house with Video, camera, Tivo and other gadgets. Not any more as my Sony Video camera just died and it too has a support Hell of its own, so we are looking at a Canon Video camera. Ok I am done with my RANT. I feel better now!
- Built it yourself: I only recommend building it yourself if you want the best of the best. My desktop is a custom built PC, but my wife’s PC, my primary Server, and my office PC’s are Dell builds. I bought 3 Dell Desktop 2.8 gig 256 meg for $350 ea w/o monitors. I could not build them for that price. You really can not save money building it yourself when you include your own labor.