I hesitate to post this one as a ton of abuse is bound to follow - but it's a heads up which may do someone a favour:
I was browsing the technology section of my local store (Solihull, Monkspath) this morning and they were about to put out half a dozen one off laptops for clearance. Appeared to be cutomer returns which had been checked over (marked on boxes).
Cheapest example was a very basic eMachines, but at £165 still a deal. They also had a better spec Dell, Toshiba and a couple of others at £249 / £299.
This may just be a local store initiative or maybe Tesco are clearing such stocks nationwide. Must be worth a look if you're in there already?