To be fair, until a month or two ago I would have just looked at Dell's website and taken it from there, expecting my PC to turn up about a week later. But recently I've been hearind a lot of anecdotal evidence that Dell's ordering systems are prone to 'losing' orders or 'amending' them, so that the kit turns up late, if at all, and may not be what the customer actually ordered.
I don't want to buy something off-the-shelf from PC World, because I know it will be over-priced and under-specified. I've been looking at Dabs and Scan, who offer barebones cases and allow you to pick the bits and pieces yourself. This will not end up any cheaper, but will get you the system you specified. Of course, that's not the same as saying it will actually work - you have to pick the right motherboard socket/processor combination, compatible RAM and accessories. Why does it all have to be so complicated?
In other news, while defrosting the freezer, I found I have three packs of diced venison. Well, I suppose there's some good news at least.