Would you buy a refurbished computer? I did -- the second time around -- and saved 18% off the sticker price. I bought my first computer, an Apple PowerBook, at retail. Last year after seven years of use, I replaced it with a refurbished MacBook Pro that I ordered from the Apple Store online. First I went to Apple's mega store on Fifth Avenue, so by the time I looked online, I had talked to several Mac Geniuses and knew just what I wanted. I bought a MacBook Pro -- perhaps a more powerful laptop than what I actually need -- partly because I saved hundreds of dollars by buying it refurbished. I got a 2008 model in September, 2008, the same year it came out. Apple tests and certifies all their refurbished products and offers a one-year guarantee. That was a deal too good for me to pass up. Apple's service is 150% positive; their technical support is awesome. When I took my laptop out of its Fed-Ex box, it was "good as new." To this day, I can't tell the difference between refurbished and what I play with at Apple's Fifth Avenue Store. My laptop is still a top performer; I've never had a problem with either its hardware or software. So I'd definitely buy refurbished again.
A few tips: 1) Do your research; 2) Stick with companies known for their outstanding products and customer service; 3) Look for free shipping and a full year product warranty.