I've always been sceptical in the past over refurb items as the ones sold in shops like comet, currys etc always seem to be damaged or bits missing.
Due to lack of funds when I was after a Netbook (covered the cost in the end selling some broken stuff on ebay and one months Quidco) I went for a Zoostorm Netbook sold on ebay via the Argos-clearance store for £139 delivered (now dropped to £124 delivered). The box was a bit rough but all the items inside seemed unused and still had the plastic sticky sheets covering everthing, been using it now for over 3 weeks with no problems.
My Mom decided it was time she had a go at this internet thingy herself and liked the Netbook I had. Shopped around and got her the same Netbook refurb but from Halfcost for £116 delivered, again the box was a bit untidy but everthing inside looked unused and works a treat.
Next came 2 laptops, one for a friend and the other for an Uncle, this time from the Bargain Crazy refurb selection, cost £224 & £204 delivered. Again the boxes were a bit rough but everthing inside was new and unused.
All items came with 12 months warranty.
The reason I'm posting is just to say that at least from the above mentioned sites the word refurb seems to mean "damaged box". Maybe I was lucky but to order from 3 different sites and to get the same quality goods does not strike me as lucky.