Dell’s secret is a JIT (just-in-time) production model. They keep very little inventory onhand, build to order, and circumvent the obsolescence problems of other manufacturers. This in turn drops system prices, and consumers love them for it.
I consider Dell the best of the OEMs. The most reliable, the best parts, the best prices. Support’s gone downhill a bit lately, but it’s still decent. And if you order their recommended systems, it’s actually pretty reasonable on the wallet.
Problems occur when you attempt to customize. Dell doesn’t like this. If they did, they wouldn’t charge 5 times base costs to upgrade the memory.